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police witness statement
labrat
post Thu, 28 Oct 2004 - 22:10
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have just got a summons, along with police witness statement - which leaves me a little confused...

--------------------------------

at 21.15 hrs on wednesday 7th July 2004, I was on uniformed patrol on the M1 motorway northbound carriageway at X(location)X, carrying out checks of vehicles' speed using hand held radar, Speedlaser Cleartone serial number XXXXX and calibrated on 23rd September 2003, when I saw a Peugeot 306 Meridian Estate registerd number XXXXXXX being driven at a fast speed in the direction of XXXXX.

No L plates were displayed on the vehicle and the driver was unaccompianied.,

I checked the speed of the vehicle using the hand held laser, which showed a speed of 97.4 mph at a range of 432.93 metres.

during the check several vehicles were overtaken, No other vehicle interfered with the check

(note, since he was at the roadside, how can no other vehicle have interfered if I overtook several, since physically they would have obstructed the beam whilst I was passing them!)

The speed limit which applies to this road is 70 m.p.h.

I caused the vehicle to stop and spoke to the driver, a person I now know to be:-

me

I cautioned the Driver and pointed out the check and the speed recorded, to which he Replied "I THOUGHT I WAS DOING EIGHTY, EIGHTY FIVE BUT I WASNT PAYING ATTENTION"

I then showed him the display on the hand held radar and explained its meaning

I asked him if there was any particular reason for him exceeding the speed limit and he replied "NO" I then asked him if the vehicled speedeometer was working correctly. He replied "YES"

I cautioned him and pointed out the offence committed and told him that he would be reported and gave him both a written and verbal notice of intended prosecution, he made no reply.

prior to the check being made the hand held laser had been checked and found to be correct and all operating instructions in relation to the site and equipment complied with.

At the time of the offence, traffic was moderate, the weather was fine, road surface dry and visibility good.

------------------

So - at the moment, he refers to the device used as a laser twice, and a radar twice ???? he seems somewhat confused as to which it was!

secondly, according to him he cautioned me twice!!! whereas my contemparous notes - taken at the time - show that I made my initial comment on my speed, whilst still in my vehicle and prior to being cautioned (which I still believe to be 80-85, and certianly did not make a comment of "but I wasnt paying attention") my notes remind me that he said "do you know why I've pulled you over, I answered "I guess I was over the limit" he asked "do you know how fast were you going" I replied "about 80-85" and then he asked me to accompany him to his vehicle, where he then cautioned me.

He says in the statement the device was a "speedmaster cleartone" I'm assuming this means that it was a "Cleartone stealth speedmaster" - theres no Home office approval that I can find for a "speedmaster cleartone" is this a possible angle to work? (particuarly as its not clear whether it was a laser or radar, the ID of the device is unclear)

I'm happy to take the rap for going over the limit, but theres no way I was doing 97 mph, I'm 100% certain that I was below 85!

No ID was shown, no presenter given, my ID checked over the radio, giving me as keeper and sole insured driver.

further to this, when asked "if there was a reason", I did comment that I was just coming back form a residence hearing having lost my kids, and was just concentrating on getting home, and to the speedo question I answered "I dont know, I'm not a mechanic" - all supported by my notes.

SO: any Ideas on shooting down a statement that, as far as I am concerned is complete bullocks, and my notes at the time support this (especially since the copper does not know if he used a radar or a laser, fills you with confidence!!!)

Also, since I'm willing to plead guilty to the actual offence (over 70), but think the quoted speed is wrong, do I plead not guilty, and wait for things to go further on?

cheers

k
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post Thu, 28 Oct 2004 - 22:10
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DW190
post Thu, 28 Oct 2004 - 22:35
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This case identifies the perfect get out clause. Unable to identify driver


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labrat
post Fri, 29 Oct 2004 - 08:15
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So, to get this straight -

I get a solicitor to attend in my abscence (and fortunatley I have a very good excuse for abscence, I've already got a jury service summons for the week of the magistrates hearing!) and he turns round and says words to the effect of "my client denies it was him, it must have been someone else driving, who falsley gave his name and address"

copper cannot say "yes it was him" since I am not there for him to confirm an identification.

Driving licence etc has never been presented, so police cannot prove it was me driving.

right - this sounds good, is there anything else I need to cover before going for this? is there a chance that it will be ajourned for me to attend for an ID?

Do I need to write back to the court immediatley stating that I do not accept the witness statement, and therefore for the officer to attend? do I say why I do not accept it (ie. state that it was not me?)

thanks for the help

k
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DW190
post Fri, 29 Oct 2004 - 08:37
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This is a loophole that I have only come across through the media and have not followed a case.

My understanding, and I'm sure others will comment or indeed shoot me down.

You have not produced anything that can identify you. If you subsequently fill in and sign any document to return to the court you could be identified from your signature.

If you take or send the paperwork to a solicitor, the solicitor is then authorised/instructed to complete the form for you.

You need not attend court for a summary offence. Your solicitor attends.

Mr Plod takes the witness stand and and reads from his notebook Joe Bloggs was doing 90 in 70.

It is good to have one of your mates chatting to the solicitor in the corridor and then sitting at the back of the court room all smart in whistle anfd flute. I'd bet a case of Champaigne to a bottle of Guiness that Plod would point to him. That would really pi55 em off

Solicitor "Mr Plod, can you identify Joe Bloggs"

What has he got other than information obtained from the PNC and some pill**k driving your car at x/s speed. Could have been anybody who knows you.

Dont take my word for it. Have a word with one of the expert solicitors like JJ.

In fact he may read this post and comment.


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Bungi
post Fri, 29 Oct 2004 - 16:10
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unfortunately you have admitted speeding although you state 80-85, this will close down many other avenues you could have otherwise investigated to your defence.

i think the "wasnt me" defence will take some balls, but i guess it could work
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DW190
post Fri, 29 Oct 2004 - 17:05
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QUOTE (Bungi)
unfortunately you have admitted speeding although you state 80-85, this will close down many other avenues you could have otherwise investigated to your defence.  

i think the "wasnt me" defence will take some balls, but i guess it could work


He is not going to say it was not me.

His solicitor will enter a Not Guilty plea. Then its up to the prostitution to prove its case. First thing they need is someone to prostitute (that sounds good) and Joseph Bloggs wont be there. So who the F will they prostitute.

The copper has your name, address and date of birth. Your mother, father, brother, sister, granny, grand dad, uncles , aunts and god knows how many mates you may have also know these details. Believe me they are FCUKd


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labrat
post Mon, 1 Nov 2004 - 19:13
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Thanks for the advice so far DW190 - I'll explore that further ;o)



I've got a question on the disclosure side of things -


1) in the officers statement he specifically states that : "all operating instructions in relation to the site and equipment complied with."

2)Speedlaser Cleartone serial number XXXXX and calibrated on 23rd September 2003

Can I ask for full Disclosure on both the instructions for use of the equipment, and for the calibration certificate???


For what its worth, I'm thinking about going for an argument that there is no type approval for a device called "speedlaser cleartone" and that as the PC's statement is unclear as to whether the device was a laser or radar unit - therefore there is no proof that the unit is type approved and thus the speed recorded is unacceptable in evidence.

My alternative argument is to go for the "instructions" for the device which I doubt they will be willing to disclose, and going for a faliure to disclose documents which would allow me to form a defence?
as far as I can see, the instructions, having been mentioned in the police statement become crucial to allow me to establish whether they were indeed followed. one factor here is the fact that I believe the site used was not in accordance with ACPO guidelines, as the laser would have been more than 10 feet from the edge of the carriageway.

Any advice on either approach?

cheers

kie
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DW190
post Mon, 1 Nov 2004 - 22:58
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I think you should take stock of which approach you are going to use.

If you go down the identification route there is no need to concern yourself with the equipment.

If you do concern yourself with the equipment the identification route is out of the window.

Think about it. While you are rebutting equipment you are acknowledging you were driving.


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viper
post Tue, 2 Nov 2004 - 12:48
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If they caught you at 97.4 your Speedo would have been showing over 100 so fair cop. M1 is a nasty road for getting done you see them waiting at every other junction especially around Beds. Where did you get done by the way? Did you try the smooth talk as you were border line fixed penalty depending on how nice the copper was


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viper
post Tue, 2 Nov 2004 - 12:54
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Just reading your post mate there is no way they would stop you if you were doing no more than 85. I see them all the time with 90 on my Speedo although this is probably around 85 on a laser. No point trying the Acpo guideline as these motorway dudes are hard nuts. If you go to court it’s you V Mr Batty 30 years at the traffic unit seen many tragic accidents etc.


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