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john_d
Hello all

Back in August '08 I was clocked speeding by a mobile hand-held camera device thing by some turd hiding behind a corner. I was duly sent an NIP, which I completed and responded to, confirming I was the driver (albeit quite late on, after receiving a reminder, but WITHIN the allocated time period). So then of course I waited, on the edge of my seat, for the 60 quid fine to arrive. Nothing turns up for months. Then February '09 rolls along, and to my shock, I receive a court summons informing me that I had failed to give information relating to the identification of the driver (contrary to Section 172).

I can only assume the NIP I returned ws lost in the post. As I did not send it by recorded delivery, obviously I have no proof that I did post it, and I would imagine that the 'lost in the post' defence is not going to stand up if I plead Not Guilty in court?

If this is the case, it would seem my best option is to plead guilty (thereby LYING to the court!) but with mitigating circumstances (i.e. that I DID fucking give driver's information), as this would obviously give me a chance of a more lenient sentence.

So does anyone know if this is the best course of action? Or would I have a chance if pleaded Not Guilty and went for it with the truth, that it was lost in the post? Feel like my hands are tied, all because of Royal fuckin Mail's incompetence.

Anyway, any input would be fully appreciated.

Cheers

John
andy_foster
Entering a plea is not the same as making a statement of fact - guilt is a matter of law, not a matter of fact.

There is case law which strongly suggests that the offence is one of failure to provide the information to the scammers (they must receive it) rather than failure to send - the example given was if the accused gave the completed notice to a friend to deliver, and the friend failed to do so, the accused will have failed to provide the information. N.B. This case was about the jurisdiction of the magistrates' court, where the court trying the case did not have jurisdiction for offences committed at the accused home, but did have jurisdiction for offences committed at scammer central. The High Court avoided dealing with a hypothetical situation where the accused had done everything expected of him and posted the notice.

Assuming that the offence (of failing to provide the information within the 28 days) is complete if the response is not delivered, despite being properly posted, it is a defence if the accused can show that it was not reasonably practicable to provide the information any sooner than he did, or at all (s. 172(7)(b) RTA 1988).
If we ignore your late response for a moment, if you did not know that your response (properly posted in good faith) had not been received, you would have no reason to send another copy of the response, so it would not be reasonably practicable to provide the information that you were not aware still needed to be provided.

Other than convincing the court that you did sent the response, the problem that you seem to be facing is that you did not do so within the 28 days. There is no provision within the statute for the scammers to allow a specified extension to the 28 days, but if you complied with such an extension, it would be an abuse of process for them to renege on that. In this case, it seems that you did everything that you reasonably could to comply with the extended time limit, but due to forces beyond your control, failed to do so.
Also, if you had responded within the original 28 days, and the notice became lost in the post, you would have been notified of the issue by the reminder, enabling you to re-send the information.

Were there any statements served with the summons? If so, what do they say about notices sent and received, etc. - does it say that no response was received?

Is the summons just for failing to provide information (s. 172(3) RTA 1988), or have they also charged you with the substantive speeding allegation?
The Rookie
I agree with AF...

What is key in my mind is whether the reminder arrived before the first 28 days expired, if it did you had a reason for not replying before the reminder had arrived, if not its hard to argue that the lateness was reasonable as
1/ You had already broken S172 by replying outside the permitted 28 days
2/ It also means that you reduced your margin for error as the 'reminder' option had come and gone.

I suggest you remove some of the more inflammatory comments in your post, if this gets linked to your case, it could be argued that such an expressed attitude adversely affects you credability, and your credibility is all that will get you a not guilty verdict.

Simon
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