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FightBack Forums > Queries > Speeding and other Criminal Offences
YummyMummy
Hi, I'm new to the forum . Bit of a complicated one this, so bear with me! I have a court summons for 27th March unsure.gif . I am being charged with speeding and the 172 thingamijig. Any help/advice would be gratefully received (feeling a bit scared)

I received a NIP on 02/10/06 saying that on 20/09/06 my car was caught by a manned camera on the A30 near merrymeet Devon at 55mph in a 40mph restriction with roadworks. This is a company car, the first NIP went to my fleet company on 26/09/06.

I couldn't remember having driven on the A30 on that day and didn't think it was me. I am a medical representative by profession and a quick look in my computer showed I had been working in Cornwall not Devon that day, with appointments in Liskeard that morning. It could have been either my husband, my brother or my husband's friend from South Africa. We bought a 300 year old cottage in May 2006 that we are doing up, and have had friends helping with the project all over the summer. Often they used my car which was a renault scenic with plenty of space for transporting building materials. Also in September I scratched the side of the car and may have left the keys for the garage to take the car for repairs around this time. This is not unusual in the part of cornwall where I live, which is very rural.

So feeling so unsure about who was driving I wrote back saying I didn't know who the driver was, and asked them to send the photo evidence. The photos when they arrived were front-facing but quite blurred, clear enough to see the car but not to recognise the driver. There was a car just ahead and another directly behind mine. I had read in the Drivers Survival Handbook that Article 6 of the European Convention states that you do not have to incriminate yourself or others if the photos are not clear enough to identify you.

So I wrote back a second time saying that I was unable to identify the driver, even though I had tried to find out who it was. Here's what I wrote:
Thank you for your letter dated 09/11/06 and for sending me the photographic evidence of my allegedly speeding car.

Unfortunately, having examined the photographic evidence, I am unable to identify the driver.

Whilst I am the registered keeper of this car, I was nowhere near the A30 on that day and was not the driver at the time of the alleged offence. For various reasons, several people may have been driving my car at that time.

My brother was visiting from France at the time and he drove my car on or around that day. My brother, who is a pastry chef by profession, is currently working on a cruise and whilst I have sent him an email, I have not had a reply to date. I have no other means of contacting him.

We also had a friend of my husband’s visiting us from South Africa. She too, drove the car on or around the day in question. This friend has since returned to South Africa. My husband has spoken with her by telephone but she is emphatic that she did not exceed any speed limits whilst driving the car.

Around the time I had scratched the side of the car against a wall and it needed some cosmetic repairs. In this rural area, it is not unusual to leave a spare key near the car to allow it to be collected, since I was away at the time. I have been in touch with the garage but they state that they were nowhere near the A30.

I feel that I have taken reasonable steps to try to identify the driver of the allegedly speeding car, but regretfully I am unable to do so.

Out of concern for my own position I have sought advice and am advised that I cannot incriminate myself if I was not there. I cannot incriminate another person if I do not know who it could be. I understand that I am supported in this by rulings made at the European Court of Human Rights.

If you would like to discuss this further please do not hesitate to contact me and I will be happy to provide any assistance that I can.

Yours faithfully,



I still feel I did all I could to try to find out the information they wanted. Unfortunately I have deleted the sent items so cannot show that I emailed my brother, however phone bills will confirm that we contacted my husband's South African friend and Ex-Way Coachworks.

I have looked at my bank and credit card statements to see if they can shed any light on my movements on the day and there are no transactions. This morning I contacted the medical centre in Liskeard where I had appointments with the doctors there on the day of the offence as I thought I was still there at noon. Their computer states that my appointments were earlier than I had thought. I must not have entered the calls in very accurately as to time in my electronic diary. So potentially, I could have been on the A30 after all, which has made me look at the pictures again. In these photos the image is slightly sharper and the outline of the hair a bit darker than in the original photos, and so now I have changed my mind. Although I still can't be 100% sure, I now think it could be me after all.

I have a good job which I don't want to jeopardise and a 2 year old child. Although points on my license
would not be good for me (I do a lot of driving in my job), I have a debt managent plan and do not want to face a large fine. I cannot afford a solicitor so I would have to represent myself. What do you suggest? I haven't sent in the documentation yet. unsure.gif
The Rookie
You have to use reasonable dilligence to determine who was driving, at the moment you will be found guilty of the S172 offence, although you are coming here too late (credability is harmed by not giving more details early) but I would suggest the following:-

Write the scammers a letter (which will then become evidence in your favour), in it repeat WHO the possible drivers were and give ALL the details they want for each (DOB, licence number etc), tell them WHY you can't remember, and list WHAT you have done, listing checking things like mobile bills, card receipts, diaries asking colleagues/friends (give details) etc. Also ask the scammers what other actions they can suggest, don’t expect a reply, but it all helps.

Unable to ID is a valid defence in law (if reasonable diligence can be shown to have been exercised) but the scammers don't like it as it looses them £60 and they really, really, want to clamp down on it, its sad but the honest but unprepared defendant is much more likely to be found guilty than a dishonest but prepared one! So make sure you are both (honest and prepared that is).

Simon
YummyMummy
Thanks Simon, that's good advice. I'll write them a letter tonight when my little one is in bed. To clarify, if I plead guilty to the speeding offence and just take the points, does that cancel out the 172 offence, or do I still need to prove I exercised diligence even if I say I am guilty? Sorry about all the dumb questions, but this is all new to me and I'm finding it all a bit mind-boggling!
geordiebhoy
I would say that pleading guilty to speeding after claiming you were unable to remember who was driving that day could lead to more than just 3 points and a fine (perverting the course of justice). I don't wish to scare you, but you have to think about this. Perhaps one of the more experienced members will comment furter.
Peter_D
At what time of day was the offence. If you were "working in Cornwall not Devon that day" how could your car be in Devon. Have you viewed the Video at the camera until to help identify the driver. They will ask you that in court then play it and ask you 'Do you recognise the driver' which will put you in a very difficult position. If you car was available to otheres that day i.e. you were not in Cornwall or a least your car was not, why did you not identify those drivers that were insured and had access to the car and let the police eliminate them. If you car was at the garage no in Cornwall there will be a record of it. You need to get yourself sorted if you are going to court. Regards Peter
YummyMummy
I phoned the Camera Partnership Unit today to say I've made a mistake and explained the situation and to ask if there was anything else they need from me, she said no and has updated my records accordingly. I have written to the CJE NED person saying the same thing.

But I am getting quite confused now. Coz on the one hand I am being advised by some other people (not on this site) that I can contact the CPS to negotiate dropping the 172 charge since I am now pleading guilty. But now Geordie Boy is telling me I could be done for perverting the course of justice if I do this? Surely it's not perverting the course of justice to put your hands up and say I made a mistake?
thejudge
I think I'd take legal advice on this one. I wouldn't think perverting the course of justice is a likely outcome. I'm sure you could make a statutory decleration in court saying it wasn't you and perhaps providing evidence to show it couldn't have been you. The Stat dec carries a warning though that if you're found to be not telling the truth it's Purgery which 2 years
cjm99
QUOTE
I've got myself into a right old pickle!


You have indeed!!

Your original response to sec 172 requirement was inadequate. You did not name the drivers.
see Click to view attachment.

You then appear to make a 'voluntary confession'. which will be accepted as proof of the driver at the time of the aledged offence. Effectively, you have 'gifted' both charges to the Crown.

You do need a solicitor, and try for an adjournment pending O'Haloran & Francis ECtHR judgement due soon.
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