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andyashworth
I hope someone can help me with this.

On the 8th August last year, I was flashed by a speed camera on some roadworks while driving along the M4 near Bristol. I expected the nasty letter but nothing arrived, that is, not until the 25th of November. I received a NIP which carried an issue date of 23/11/2005, 110 days after the alleged offence. I thought this was a bit fishy, so I checked the web to find that the 14 day rule existed. Excellent news, I thought. I phoned the camera processing unit only to be told that this was in fact the second issue of a NIP and they often send a second, as a reminder. There was no indication on the form that this was the second form sent.

Contact with a legal website informed me that if they claimed to have sent an original NIP, the burden of proof was on them to show that it was posted in time. They also suggested that I write a letter to inform them that this was the case and that the NIP in my possession carried a the issue date of 23/11/2005, thereby rendering it invalid under the 14 day rule. Unfortunately, they did not inform me that I should still complete page 2 (driver's details section) of the NIP and return it. I assumed that this was invalid too, as it appears to form part of the NIP.

I am now summonsed to appear before the magistrates' court under an offence of failing to provide the driver's details, contrary to section 172, etc., etc..

Do I plead guilty with mitigating circumstances or do I have a case for a not guilty plea?

As part of their evidence, they have submitted a copy of the NIP to the court but, despite sending me a copy of the supposed original with an issue date of 12/08/05 (this was sent to me around January), they are using the one dated 23/11/05 (that must be a bit of a cock-up which surely only stands to back me up!).

I probably made a mistake by not confirming I was the driver in my original letter of response. By the same token however, I did not deny driving and never have. I also invited them to reply if they required further information.

What do I do now? The court date is the 22nd of this month (this Thursday!!!) and I have already received one adjournment (I only received notification of the new court date two days ago so I am under pressure).

Thanks in advance for any assistance.

Andy. icon_hang.gif
Mika
What did the letter you sent say and can you prove that you sent it?

This link will take you to the advice that was provided by the RAC’s legal help line and it also does not make it clear that one needs to complete the S 172 notice.

In the only similar case I have witnessed the court decided, quite rightly in my opinion, that a time-expired NIP invalidates all subsequent prosecutions.
Bluedart
QUOTE (Mika @ Sun, 18 Jun 2006 - 12:13) *
What did the letter you sent say and can you prove that you sent it?

This link will take you to the advice that was provided by the RAC’s legal help line and it also does not make it clear that one needs to complete the S 172 notice.

In the only similar case I have witnessed the court decided, quite rightly in my opinion, that a time-expired NIP invalidates all subsequent prosecutions.

QUOTE
that a time-expired NIP invalidates all subsequent prosecutions.

Are you the RK? If so, a not guilty is on the cards. If you are not the RK? then it could get a little complicated
andyashworth
Thanks for the swift response,

Here is the letter I sent.....

Dear Sir or Madam,


I write with reference to a recent 'notice of intended prosecution', which I received from your organisation Three weeks ago.

The notice carries an issue date of the 23rd November 2005, yet the date of the alleged offence is the 5th August 2005. As the dates were so far apart, I decided to seek legal advice. I have been informed that under section 1 of the RTOA 1988, you are obliged to send the Notice of Intended Prosecution within 14 days of the alleged offence. In fact, the notice was not sent until 110 days had passed, thereby rendering the notice invalid.

Please note that this is my official response to the Notice of Intended Prosecution. If you wish to take the matter further, please contact me on the above address.

Yours faithfully, etc., etc.




I don't have proof of posting but they have included a copy in their evidence which proves they received it.

My fingers are firmly crossed. unsure.gif

I am the registered keeper.

I hope I'm not building my hopes up too much but according to the similar example, it looks good to me.
wotnotv
Hi Andy,

A magistrates court decision isn't likely to influence another court, but the same argument may work elsewhere.

The following sentence in your letter is encouraging, IMHO:

QUOTE
Please note that this is my official response to the Notice of Intended Prosecution. If you wish to take the matter further, please contact me on the above address.


Did you get any further response to that address? If not, it may strengthen your case.

Kind regards,
wotnotv
cjm99
Scan the summons bundle and post it on here.

The summons will read to the effect"..... between xx/xx/xxxx and xx+28/xx/xxxx you failed to give details etc etc.."

What dates are given for the offence?
andyashworth
I did receive a further response which included the so-called original (dated 12/8/05).

It basically acknowledges receipt of my letter and points out that they did send the original, therefore satisfying the 14 day rule. It then goes on to warn me about prosecution for non-compliance, etc.

I will try to scan all the info this afternoon if I can get my scanner working, I may be able to use my fax/copier thingy as a scanner but I'll need to 'RTFM' as IT people are prone to say.

Thanks for the help and advice so far, should I enter a 'not guilty' plea and buy time to prepare?

Cheers,
Andy.
andyashworth
I've had to do these with a digital camera and shrink the files, etc.

Sorry to be a pain but, how do I post the images?
Bluedart
Tryt this
http://forums.pepipoo.com/index.php?showtopic=4532
andyashworth
Probably more info than necessary but I've always been a bit of a completist.

This is what arrived in the summons pack.























Thanks to ImageShack for Free Image Hosting
andy_foster
IMHO, their letter of January 9th weakens your defence - it says that you still have to tell them who was driving.

I am more than slightly concenred that the "reminder" was sent almost 4 months after the alleged offence - something is rotten in the state of Denmark...

Sophie Bendall's statement refers to the original NIP being sent to the RK, but strangely does not say who that is/was.

How long have you been the RK of that vehicle with the current details?
What is the date after the DocRef on your V5C?

Was the copy of the "original" NIP correctly addressed to you?
Are there any differences to the layout/font/etc. between the 2 notices (other than the issue date)?
andyashworth
I've owned the car for 6 years but I did move into a new house at the end of August. I have been the registered keeper throughout that time. The NIP was sent to my old address but it was a flat which I sold to my dad. I always receive forwarded mail immediately via recorded delivery, so that could not have been a problem. My dad is a bit of a busybody at times and certainly wouldn't have thrown away something that looked official (he even sends circulars!!!).

I suppose I'm looking at likely outcomes of guilty versus not guilty really, I wouldn't want to plead not guilty only to receive a huge fine with costs.

Does anyone have any views on the fact that as part of their evidence, they supplied the NIP that I received (dated 23/11/05) and not the one they claimed to send in August?

Thanks all,
Andy.
Bluedart
QUOTE
The NIP was sent to my old address but it was a flat which I sold to my dad.

If then, the first NIP was sent to your old address, how did they know about your new. Did you inform the DVLA after your move and after the first NIP was sent to your dad? Or have the scammers been scratching around to find you by other methods? Was the NIP you received First or Second class post?
andyashworth
I informed them of the change of address by telephone, upon receiving the NIP in November. The woman I spoke to amended the details there and then (I assume).

Unfortunately, I can't remember the form of postage as I didn't keep the envelope. I do know that it was in my possession within a couple of days of the issue date.
Bluedart
QUOTE
I informed them of the change of address by telephone, upon receiving the NIP in November.


You informed the DVLA of your change of address after you received the NIP in November. That is what I am trying to establish, how did the NIP arrive at your new address? Was it direct to you or via your dad? If it was direct to you, how did they find you second time around? Because from what you say, it was delivered to your new address before you informed the DVLA.
andyashworth
I apologise for the confusion.

This is the chain of events in chronological order.....


5/8/05 - speeding offence took place.

12/8/05 - NIP allegedly sent (never received).
Late August/early September '05 - informed DVLA of address change.

23/11/05 - NIP sent (this was received in my possession a few days later despite being sent to the old address).

28/11/05 (approx.) - I contacted the camera processing unit, informing them of the 'timed out' NIP and the change of address. I also explained that the old address was still in the family's possession and all mail was forwarded. No reference has been made since and all subsequent contact was to the new address.

When I said "I informed them of the change of address by telephone, upon receiving the NIP in November", I was referring to the CPU. I had already long received the updated V5 at that time.

Sorry again. icon_redface.gif
Mika
QUOTE (andyashworth @ Mon, 19 Jun 2006 - 09:30) *
28/11/05 (approx.) - I contacted the camera processing unit, informing them of the 'timed out' NIP and the change of address. I also explained that the old address was still in the family's possession and all mail was forwarded. No reference has been made since and all subsequent contact was to the new address.

Is your father prepared to confirm this under oath?
andyashworth
I think he would sign a statement but I doubt he would appear. He lives 300 miles away from the court.
Mika
QUOTE (andyashworth @ Mon, 19 Jun 2006 - 10:00) *
I think he would sign a statement but I doubt he would appear. He lives 300 miles away from the court.

If he is not there in person, the Crown will almost certainly object to his statement and it will be ruled as inadmissible.
andyashworth
Would I be looking at a large fine if I plead guilty, using my evidence as mitigation?
The Rookie
Well not guilty is still possible, and something stinks in the time delay between original notice and reminder, but you are on a sticky wicket by not supplying drivers details after the second letter. If you could get your dad to court to give evidence then you should be safe, otherwise I think not.

Future ref, if after the Jan letter you had given drivers details, you would probably have been Ok anyway as you were very close to a timeout!

Simon
andy_foster
QUOTE (andyashworth @ Mon, 19 Jun 2006 - 08:24) *
Does anyone have any views on the fact that as part of their evidence, they supplied the NIP that I received (dated 23/11/05) and not the one they claimed to send in August?


If the one sent in August had been received, it would have been served and (subject to any statutory defence) you would have committed an offence by not supplying the required information 28 days after it was served.

The requirement to serve the first NIP within 14 days, under s.1 RTOA 1988 is separate from the rules regarding service of the s.172 notice, even though they are combined within the same document.
In any case, the obligations created by s.1 are deemed to have been complied with unless/until the contrary is proven.

There does not appear to be any clear authority regarding the status of reminder s.172 notices. If the first had been received, any s.172 offence would have been committed on 13/09/2005 and an information would have had to have been laid by 13/03/2006. To rely on the dates of reminders to allow a later information in this example would IMHO be a clear abuse of process.
Where the accused asserts that the original was not received, that argument is far weaker.



I am a tad concerned that the information date on the summons is hand written...
andyashworth
Does anybody have any thoughts about this?

Despite their referring to the so called 'original', the copy of the NIP they have submitted as evidence is the one I received (i.e.- 110 days late!!!).

As you have probably gathered, I'm no legal expert but this does look to me like either a monumental cock-up or at least a missed opportunity.
Bluedart
QUOTE (andyashworth @ Mon, 19 Jun 2006 - 12:23) *
Does anybody have any thoughts about this?

Despite their referring to the so called 'original', the copy of the NIP they have submitted as evidence is the one I received (i.e.- 110 days late!!!).

As you have probably gathered, I'm no legal expert but this does look to me like either a monumental cock-up or at least a missed opportunity.
QUOTE
As you have probably gathered, I'm no legal expert but this does look to me like either a monumental cock-up or at least a missed opportunity.

I'd go for the cock-up myself laughing4.gif
andyashworth
I'd thought about the hand written date. It's hard to make out what it is.

Looking at an earlier link in this thread (courtesy of Mika, I think) there was a case which was dismissed on the grounds of a late NIP rendering all subsequent prosecutions invalid.

In view of the NIP they submitted, could that be an avenue?

The trouble with all this is that I don't really want to get into long legal arguments in a court as I can't afford to lose. That doesn't mean I am happy to roll over and take the hit. Ideally, I'd rather prove their was no case to answer. At the moment, I'm still unsure of how to plead.

If I plead guilty though, I should really send the reply to summons off today I think.

Is it worth me asking for another adjournment or will that just serve to wind the magistrates up?
andyashworth
I've looked long and hard at all the posts and I think I'm going to be forced to go for a Guilty plea, accompanied by a sackload of mitigating circumstances.

I'm pretty sure that any motoring lawyer worth his/her salt could win this one on some technicality or other but I doubt I could afford one. If it was a clear cut case, I'd have a bash at representing myself but I think there are just too many complications. If I'd worded my initial response to include an admission of being the driver, rather than (unintentionally) leaving it open, it would surely have been easier. Likewise, if I had found this site sooner, etc.

So I suppose the last question is whether anyone can suggest important points to include in the mitigation?
Red Kev 01
Andy i know how you feel mate as the similar thing happened to me. What interests me is the Police would have to show proof of when they sent the original NIP as i suspect they have used another one and changed the dates to suit them coz we all know how loyal the Police are???

For what it is worth Andy i went to court to represent myself on a section 172 and it carries a fine of £1000 max and a ban if it is at the "Sherriff Court" level in Scotland and 3 points of course, anyhow i was told that it would cost in excess of £1500 to get a solicitor to which i couldnt afford it so in the end i had to plead guilty and got £150 and 3 points.

I hate them all and i am still very bitter today they abuse the process to suit themselves just so they can get a conviction, but ultimately the descision is yours, if it was me i would take it on as something isnt right with this. Good Luck
andyashworth
I have a question about mitigation.

There is a note above the space where I have to detail my mitigating circumstances which reads.....

"The court clerk will read out everything you write in the space below to the court."

Obvious temptations of included profanity aside wink.gif , are they still obliged to read out an accompanying letter?

I have a lot of things I would like to 'point out' and the form isn't big enough.
crystal
Hi,

I would keep it short and to the point I do not think the attention span is that long. Can you got and do it yourself ?

Regards
Crystal
Bluedart
QUOTE (andyashworth @ Mon, 19 Jun 2006 - 19:55) *
I have a question about mitigation.

There is a note above the space where I have to detail my mitigating circumstances which reads.....

"The court clerk will read out everything you write in the space below to the court."

Obvious temptations of included profanity aside wink.gif , are they still obliged to read out an accompanying letter?

I have a lot of things I would like to 'point out' and the form isn't big enough.

QUOTE
I have a lot of things I would like to 'point out' and the form isn't big enough.

I am sure if you write in the space provided, "please see attached note". that will be good enough, providing of course that you staplein to the form and photcopy what you have done.
andyashworth
Good point.

I suppose they'd look pretty silly saying "please see attached note" and then not reading one.

icon_redface.gif
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