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FightBack Forums > Queries > Speeding and other Criminal Offences

This is my first post and I wanted to firstly congratulate you on an excellent, informative site - it has been a great help so far.

Anyway, brief summary of my case as follows - caught doing 77 in a 50 on a motorway slip road by Laser at 653 ft from a marked patrol car on a blind bend (I couldn't see him). Summons just received 2 months later and the Officer's witness statement and summons display the wrong registration number (XX PRM instead of XX PRH).

I have pleaded not guilty and not declared this to the courts - I am now awaiting a hearing date.

From what I have read here this would not fall under the slip rule as the registration number is both incorrect on the witness statement and the summons. My approach is going to be to question the PC in court, ask whether the statement is correct and then drop it on their toes that the registration number is not valid and not mine. My hope is the case will then be dismissed. Am I doing the right thing or wasting my time?

Second point which I think is less material, but might be worth a go is the statement also states that the office visually assessed my speed first then corroborated with the Laser (as per ACPO guidelines). There is no way he could have done that as the distance from when I came into sight round the bend is approx 650 to 700ft from his patrol car and travelling at 77 mph I would have been much nearer to him that 653ft when he took the reading if he had done what he said in the statement - I figure this further undermines the witness statement.

Appreciate any views or help on this.

gold leaf
why 2 mths , ? ehere you stopped by the police at the time?

No idea why it took 2 months, the Officer did state it may take a while to issue the summons as the courts were busy. Sorry, I forgot that critical piece of information - I was stopped immediately by the officer and pulled onto the hard shoulder of the motorway. I wasn't actually given anything to take away with me from the patrol car, but the officer did caution me, say he was going to refer the case to court, etc. From what I have read he said all the things he should have said to me at the time.


Would really appreciate some views on this as I prepare my case!

I am not confident that your first line of defence will be successful. Unless you were misled, confused or prejudiced in your defence by the error, then the court will accept amendment of the VRM details there and then. Similarly, it would almost certainly be acceptable for the officer to re-jig his statement.

On the second point, note that the normal rules of corroboration do not apply to motorways. This means that a statement from a single officer confirming that he was of the opinion that you were travelling in excess of the posted limit may, on its own, be sufficient for the magistrates to convict. The fact that further evidence of excess speed has been provided by means of a prescribed device would simply add weight to the prosecution's case.

An alternative view on the second point is that the officer was not required to form an opinion that you were speeding and that evidence of excess speed provided by a prescribed device may be sufficient in itself.

The mistake in the registration number on the summons and in the statement is significant only if you can get the officer to admit he was confused and maybe it wasn't the OP's car at all. It is easy to correct in court as the officer can identify the OP as the driver and it is the driver not the car that commits any alleged offence. It doesn't sound right but it is often the case that something like this happens.

As an example of extreme errors, in my case I was alleged to have driven a motorcar at excess speed. In fact I was riding a motorbike however such an error was not deemed to be significant in the court!?! It makes one wonder about the police's powers of observation and the courts elastic interpretation of them.

Good luck.
You must have given the officer your name and address at the time as the summons came to you, ie they were not relying on getting the name and address from DVLA records on the wrong car. Therefore you cannot really dispute that you were the speeding driver who was stopped that day, and the mistake over the registration number is not significant. You may be better off changing your plea to guilty, because at least you will get a discount off the fine (but not the points/ban) Put in mitigation that you originally went NG because the registration was not your car. You are looking at 6 points or a short ban.
Thanks for all the feedback. Seems to be overwhelming that I should perhaps change the plea to guilty. Never mind...!

Any alternative views gratefully received.

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