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JesusCostas
Hi everyone,

I was flashed by a mobile camera (82mph on a dual-carriageway, 1am, empty road, completely hidden camera) in August last year. I received the NIP within the prescribed time, and wrote back to say that as myself and my partner share the driving, we were unsure of who was driving at the time. I requested photos identifying the driver, which they were unable to provide. I got a warning letter back, to which I restated that I was unsure as to the driver.

I have recently received 2 summons (in the same envelope) - one for speeding and one for failing to provide details of the driver at the time of the offence.

My questions are:

a) legally, can I be served 2 summons' in this way? If I am being charged with failing to supply details how can I also be charged for speeding? Surely admitting one offence negates the other?

b) how do you recommend I respond?

Many thanks in advance.....
jimmy ferrari
If you were flashed it was either a fixed or mobile gatso. do you know which?
SMURF POWER
a) legally, can I be served 2 summons' in this way? If I am being charged with failing to supply details how can I also be charged for speeding? Surely admitting one offence negates the other? legally yes

Surely admitting one offence negates the other Scammers hedging bet Summons for both deal with each on the day and you may find one will be dropped both if you is good You are being summons for 2 offences. In therory they could have you on both if they were able to proove you were the driver, and for not giving details of driver S172 (unlikley)

b) how do you recommend I respond?
Guilty or Not guilty

to which I restated that I was unsure as to the driver what have you done to find out which one of you were the driver on your part and do you have proof...If you were flashed the court will remind you that its quiet a flash the event may have stuck in the drivers mind!
silentrunning
Sounds almost identical to how Essex Police tried to stitch me up five years ago or more. Couldn't remember whether it was me or my wife driving, the photos were inconclusive, so I discharged my S172 duties by stating that I did know who the driver was - either me or my wife. I gave both names and said I had given all the information it was in my power to give, and that if they had any further evidence to put it beyond reasonable doubt, then let them come out with it. Needless to say, Essex CPS, idiots that they were, decided to prosecute on both failure to supply the S172 information, AND an allegation of speeding against me personally. I pointed this out to the Chief Prosecutor at Essex a week before the hearing and he had to concede that it was an abuse of process for them to simultaneously claim that they had the firm evidence to allege speeding against me, whilst also claiming that they did not have the S172 information. The speeding allegation had to follow from S172 information therefore they withdrew the charges.

I'd stick to your guns. It's nonsense to be charged for both offences UNLESS they have other evidence and are NOT relying upon your S172 statement to make the allegation. Not only that, it's a damn cheek.

Finally, as far as how to respond goes it's very simple: if you know you were driving, admit it was you. If you know it was your wife driving, name her. If you don't know and can't find out, plead not guilty! It is your duty as a citizen to make them prove their case. Don't do their work for them!
/dev/null
Remember, it's not just good enough to say "I can't remember" - You are expected to check credit card bills, mobile telephone bills, appointments etc for the time of the offence to see if it places one of you somewhere else... Even if not, then at leas you can say you have checked! smile.gif
JesusCostas
This is Essex police too 'silentrunning'....! How did you contact the Chief Prosecutor by the way, by phone or letter?
Chas820
You should do everything by letter and keep a copy,this is part of the paper trail to prove diligence in a not sure of driver defence.Send recorded signed for delivery.
silentrunning
I found the address of Essex CPS on their website once the case had been handed on to them at the pre-hearing stage. Before that it had been mixed up with the Police and it difficult to find anyone to accept responsibility for the prosecution attempt. I then wrote to the Chief Prosecutor by Special Delivery, set out what had happened and bingo - case withdrawn 3 days before the hearing.

Whilst I understand the above comment that it's not good enough to claim 'I can't remember', in law it SHOULD be. I'm not encouraging anyone to break the law here - if someone does really know who was driving I would expect them to plead guilty or name the driver that was driving at the time. If they do not know, and it is reasonable to expect that they can't find out or work it out, all possible drivers must be named, and leave it to the prosecution to figure out who it was. If they don't have the evidence they shouldn't front up and start throwing prosecutions round. IMHO. I would say that it you would have a hard time convincing the magistrates that upon being served a NIP within 14 days of the alleged offence, you could not remember who was driving in normal circumstances. You must have a reasonable excuse.
JesusCostas
Thanks for the response everyone.

'silentrunning' - could I ask a couple of questions?

1. Did you plead not guilty to both offences?
2. How long after the offence did you receive your NIP?
3. I understand the comments re: "I can't remember" - I know this sounds very lame, which is why I am considering pleading guilty to the 'failure to provide details' offence (because, whilst this annoys me, I haven't provided details, and don't have a great defence) and not guilty to the speeding charge.

As I understand it from the 'Guidelines to Magistrates' literature elsewhere on this site:

===
"It is highly questionable whether the court can conclude that
registered keeper + failure to respond = proof beyond reasonable doubt that
the registered keeper is the driver;
Therefore in a typical speed camera and section 172 case where no satisfactory response has been received from the defendant,
the court should generally convict of the section 172 offence alone unless there is other evidence in relation to the driver.
===


Am I making a glaring error here?
silentrunning
OK bear in mind I'm no lawyer and this was a fair few years ago, so it's from memory.

1. Yes I pleaded not guilty to both offences. I had to. I was not guilty of witholding S172 information, because I HAD supplied them info to the best of my ability by naming TWO possible drivers, one of which would definitely have been the driver at the time of the alleged offence.

I also had to plead not guilty to speeding, as neither I nor my wife knew which of us it had been in the driving seat, and the CPS had not provided any evidence which would have clarified it. Of course, they never had any in the first place, apart from a photo taken into the setting sun silhouetting two people in the car who looked the same as each other. It would have been an abuse of the legal process for me or my wife to plead guilty when we did not know. In fact I seem to recall I put this very argument forward to the Chief Prosecutor, asking whether he was happy to accept a guilty plea from a person who did not believe it to be true.

2. The NIP was received on the 14th day I think. It was just in time anyway. The thing I can't remember is the exact circumstances at the time of the alleged offence. I know it was a complete surprise when the NIP turned up as neither of us had seen any mobile trap for the last couple of weeks. Turned out they had positioned themselves on the opposite side of a central reservation, 4 lanes away on the other side of the dual carriageway, photographing into the low evening sun. Idiots. As the matter never reached court, no-one questioned our lack of memory over the incident. But I still can't see how you could be convicted for not remembering, if there is no other supporting evidence.

3. I think your idea of going guilty on the S172 and not guilty on the speeding is one option. You can't possibly be convicted on both unless they have other supporting evidence that would prove it was you in the driving seat e.g. a clear photograph showing you in the car.

As far as your magistrates guidelines go, I think if you're making any error, it's in thinking that magistrates are legal experts and totally objective. That's just from the few court appearances I've had in different magistrates courts. If they think you are messing them about and trying to throw legal complications in to get out of a conviction, they may well convict you anyway and let a higher court deal with the fallout. They seem to put a lot of faith in police evidence and will implicity believe it unless you can prove it flawed. I don't want to rain on your parade, but it MAY turn out that they convict you of speeding as well as the S172 thing, just because you tried a 'clever' defence.

I don't know the exact wording of what your first S172 statement was, but if you stated clearly that EITHER of you could have been driving, you've discharged your S172 duties as to the identity of the driver. It MUST be one of you, you just don't know which. So maybe plead not guilty to both.

Put it this way, if you plead guilty to either, you'll be convicted on one or both charges. If you plead not guilty to both, you're doing the right thing, as long as you really can't remember or find out which of you was driving, plus it leaves the possiblity open of getting both charges dropped as they are mutually exclusive.
JesusCostas
Hmm - will mull it over for a few days I think...

Thanks very much for the replies though 'silentrunning' - really appreciate it.
silentrunning
No problem. I've always found it easier to defend myself against the CPS if I genuinely believe what I'm saying. Not that I'm implying you're trying to cheat the system or anything. Only you can say for sure who was driving at the time. If you genuinely can't remember, then it is your right and your duty to go on the record and state who COULD have been driving and leave it at that, leading to a not guilty plea on both charges and hopefully both charges will be withdrawn or you'll be found not guilty at court. On the other hand, if you do in fact know that you were driving, then it is your responsibility to own up and plead guilty. There's not much more I can say than that.
Sexy Supra
Myself and my fiance are in the same boat as you, except we never received the original NIP, it was some 7 weeks after the alleged offence that we received a final warning letter. We have been down the road of requesting photographs, which were hopeless re: identification. I have checked bank statements and nothing. We both have pay as you go phones not registered and no hands free so wouldn't have used them anyway, we filled up with fuel the night before the journey so never stopped to re-fuel. It was the first time we had gone up North using this route and we have made a return journey to that area since, albeit it over 100 miles away from where we live and neither of us can identify which area we changed over. Had we have gone our normal route on the M6 as we had for last 4 years there would have been a fair chance of knowing where we changed over. However, as the traffic was getting bad and the last time it took us nearly 6 hrs to get up north we changed routes and sods law this happens.

We have now been told we are going to be getting a summons but going to plead not guilty on both offences, as we honestly don't know which was of us was at the wheel when this offence occurred. Going to stick to our guns as not being stitched up by these modern day highway robbers.

Good luck and don't let them grind you down or take your hard earned cash.
Mr Nervous
I was also summonsed for S172 and the alleged offence, pleaded NG to both and did go to court.

Annoyingly I buckled after 3 hours of court time and sitting around for lunch, taking the hit on the charge for the offence. I wish I hadn't now though sad.gif

Be very aware that the prosecution will try their best to get a PACE letter in as evidence against you - they were even going to read out the full details in their opening statement before I objected... (which technically you can't really do, but the Clerk of the court was nice enough to suggest he skip the detail.)

There was definitely someone else on here who's faced Essex in Court - can't remember his name now though!

Personally I wouldn't go Guilty on S172 just 'cos it's easier - if you've exercised Due Diligence (I think that's the term?) in finding out who was driving then why should you be found guilty of something that you haven't done?!
silentrunning
Keep the encouragement coming!
Innocenti
Having a solicitor thats not particularly interesetd because I have found out so much myself I suspect .

The CPS are as corrupt as the scammers. This info is good and should be kept at the top of the threads to help others because the help on this site has deteriorated dramatically. I can't recommend it to anyone now really, its just generally the same stuff repeated, repeated, repeated ... no form , no structure and no direction. Newbies are really left to sort the wheat out from the chaff, reams of it.

Seems all the eggs are in the ECHR basket and the old guard is now sat on the fence waiting for a result ... everything crossed, no longer proactive!
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