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Further to my previous email

Went to Court. In the witness box. Entered a plea of guilty and when the moment presented itself I stood to offer mitigation. In that I urgently needed a toilet (facilities available in the next building (a Pub) 0.5 miles further along an empty country road. A road where the speed limit changed to National Speed limit 0.1 further on from where I was recorded (0.4 Miles before the Pub itself) supported by aerial photographs and a statement from my Doctor explaining my IBS and it symptoms.

At which point the Clerk of the court stopped me and informed me that my plea was 'Not Guilty due to Special Reasons'. I thought the Clerk had misheard me and I repeated that I wanted to plead guilty with mitigation. At which point she repeated my plea was incorrect and should be 'Not Guilty due to Special Reasons'. The Chair then addressed me and advised that based on current plea he would have no choice other than to award 4pts + costs + fine against me. The prosecution asked me for the Doctors letter passed it back and said ‘that’s fine, there’s no problem with that’ and then stood up and informed the court that similar defences had been submitted and argued successfully in Court; most famously Sir Alex Ferguson and it was his recommendation that a plea of 'Not Guilty due to Special Reasons' be entered and the case adjourned pending a new Court hearing. Now verging on panic and not understanding what was going on I advised the bench that I didn’t want to be seen as wasting any more of the Courts time and would be happy to accept the Courts penalty there and then as I didn’t want this change in plea to be viewed with anti-defendant bias at next Court hearing. The Chair advised this wouldn’t be the case and the Clerk advised it would show that the change in plea was upon the recommendation of the Court.

I did note that Prosecution asked the Clerk was there any chance of having my case heard that day, in another court in front another panel? To which the Clerk responded that they wouldn’t be able to fit me in. I assume that the other court has a different step to hear such cases. But I don’t know?

I left the Court with a new date in March with my head in a spin. Not knowing what I’m supposed to say or do the next time I enter the Court in March. Any help / guidance gratefully rec’d.


Butch huh.gif

thank god i thought it was only me that got a good clerk, every else on here says they are crap

what he has done is advise you that there is a good ' defence' of pleading guilty but with special reason not to endorse

I dont think he told you to go not guilty.

so you need to do the whl;e thing again, but when they ask you for your plea it will be guilty but with SRNtE that way you should end up with a ( small) fine but no points
The Rookie
Indeed, its GUILTY with special reasons not to endorse, not NOT GUILTY so either you misheard or the clerk should be sacked!

Alex Ferguson is indeed the most celebrated case where this 'tactic' was used succesfully, although there are others (Camilla P-B as was when leaving the scene of an accident)

You either offer mitigation in order to reduce the sentance (but still get points) or special reasons which is the only way to avoid points.


Firstly, apologises for the additional thread. Forgot password for ID and lord knows what email addi I had at the time. Hench a slight change in user ID.

Secondly, as I mentioned it was all in a complete blur. They definitely mentioned 'Special Reasons' I probably misheard or misunderstood their use of the phrase Not Guilty bit (that probably explains why I came out completely confused) - Guilty, Not Guilty, Mitigation, Special Reason ......... brain battered.

So, would I be correct in saying that in March its Guilty with Special reason? on the court paperwork this wasn't given as an option it was simply Guilty, Guilty with mitigation or Not Guilty and one further question why would they not hear the case on this basis there and then as opposed to put me in front of another Court?

The Rookie
QUOTE (Butch-Dingle @ Tue, 23 Dec 2008 - 13:49) *
So, would I be correct in saying that in March its Guilty with Special reason? on the court paperwork this wasn't given as an option it was simply Guilty, Guilty with mitigation or Not Guilty and one further question why would they not hear the case on this basis there and then as opposed to put me in front of another Court?

Yes, the boxes only matter if you are not attending, otherwise I guess its 'guilty with mitigation' on the basis that it implies some time will be taken, a straight guilty is a 30 second hearing while they decide your suscription to that 'pen pushing blotter jotter' Darling's tax funds!

Read Ashton the fruitcake on how NOT to use special reasons!

Read Ellis scroll to the judgement and right at tha starts you'll see its 'guilty with spcial reasons not to endorse' not to put you off, but another failure at appeal!

Well to ptovide a final update on events.

I recently appeared before Magistrates. Having waited 3 hrs after my initial allotted time I entered the court. Where the Clerk of the Court asked that my case had been originally adjourned because I had asked for a special hearing. I responded “Had I?” I had no idea why the case had been rescheduled as I was left completely confused from the first visit.

Any, I was asked what were my reasons for speeding. Which I duly obliged and provided graphics of the area (thanks Google Earth) so they could consider the actual risks concerning area.

After some questions and answers and some further discussion among I was informed the findings of the court were that I was found Guilty of the Offence and given an Absolute Discharge.

I asked what this meant to my licence and my insurance. At this point the Chair said “I can you exactly what it means because I’ve been in your shoes” at which point he advised it would have no effect but to inform my insurers just in case.

So a small victory for the little man.

The Rookie
Well done, no fine/costs/tax either is a miracle, but no 3 pts on your licenec is the best news!

Well done. We do tend to bang on about useless clerks and magistrates on here, but every now and again we hear about decent ones - just wish there were more of them.
Hotel Oscar 87
This might sound overly cynical but you managed to achieve - probably at nil cost - other a little of your time, what it cost Alex Ferguson many thousands of pounds to achieve. Well done - even if you felt a little like a passenger. Its also re-assuring to know that some clerks still play ball.
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