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Guiltyuntilproven...
Hi all,
Firstly, congratulations on a most informative site in such confusing times.
A NIP was served on 3/10/03 alleging an offence on 30/09/03. 61mph in a 40 zone.
As I was incapacitated with a bad back and confined to bed rolleyes.gif , my common-law wife of 12 years filled out the form, but of course was unable to sign it.
She then diligently sent the form by Special Delivery to the CTO of Staffordshire Police on 16/10/03.
On 21/10/03 I received a letter, the text is as follows:

Dear sir/madam

Notice of Intended Prosecution

I refer to the enclosed Section 172 Form and would inform you that the following information is required:
( ) Your FULL name to be inserted, (initials will not suffice)
( ) The full Driving Licence number must be inserted at A part 1
(X) The form must be signed by the Driver in Section A part 1
( ) The full name and address of the offender to be inserted in Section A
( ) There is insufficient information in the address of the person you have
nominated
( ) Driving Licence does not correspond with the date of birth.

Failure to return the form to the Central Ticket Office,Weston Road, Stafford ST18 0YY within the next 7 days will result in the matter being placed before the Court.

Yours sincerely,

Illegible scrawl
Central Ticket Office

....Strangely enough, stapled to the rear of this "standard" letter was the ORIGINAL NIP, not a photocopy, and it is stamped CTO 17 OCT 2003....

Anyways, I feel we have complied by completing the form as well as we could under the circumstances. I am a little confused by the claims that the driver MUST sign the form, and that the form MUST be returned within 7 days??
As we are approaching the 28day barrier, any advice would be greatly appreciated,

Take care all,
Jon
Mika
Hi Jon,

Have you considered returning a copy of the Form, attached to the PACE letter? icon_wink.gif
sjpage
Morning guys

If they returned the original and you did not return it to them, then would they have no case as you have proof you sent it them first time around and they dont have any evidance ????

and if the letter does not say you are requested to sign it by the CC then one would presume there is still no reason to sign it - yes / no ????????????


stef
Russ
Hi all,

I have had the original NIP returned to me twice!
My offence was 08/05/03 and after a couple of B&B letters it has been very quiet for the last couple of months.

As the 6 months is nearly up, I am expecting a letter through the post very shortly.

I can only assume that the Scamera Group have taken a photo copy of the original NIP.

Russ
Guiltyuntilproven...
Evenin' all,
Thanks for the advice, Mika. I am assuming it is wisest to send back a COPY of the nip, and not the original stamped and dated one...
SJ: Odd, isn't it, that they sent the original back...
Mika: Does the fact that I have the original NIP as proof that they received it have any bearing on things at all??

Guess I will return a copy with a suitable letter attached, and see what happens...

Thanks again folks, take care,

Jon
sjpage
QUOTE
Odd, isn't it, that they sent the original back...


Yes I would have thought they would require the original for a prosecution and as they only send these out by normal post I'm sure it could easily get lost and you have proof you sent it
makes you wonder if they have a photocopy and if that could be used as evidence


I suppose the point is that you still haven't signed it however if a photocopy is not evidence (they can not submit) then I suppose you could say you did sign it any thoughts

anyone here know if a photocopy could be used as evidence ?
Guiltyuntilproven...
Morning all:
Can anyone clear up this very valid question of sjpage's?
QUOTE
anyone here know if a photocopy could be used as evidence ?


Any help would be most appreciated, take care, and have a good Monday.

Jon
Guiltyuntilproven...
Hi all,
...just a quick update....received this reply to the PACE letter today, and am more than a tad confused...(as usual)
Here is the text:

Dear Spod,
Re: CTO Ref XXXXXXXXX

I am writing with reference to the above-mentioned speeding offence.
Thank-you for your letter dated 22nd October 2003, the contents of which are noted.
The comments made in your letter are not applicable to the "fixed penalty system" that applies to this offence.
Should you choose not to comply with the legal requirement as stated on the Notice od Intended Prosecution by 17th November 2003, the matter will be forwarded for prosecution through The Magistrates Court.
I thank-you in advance for your co-operation in this matter.
Yours sincerely,
Neat Signature,
Boss Bloke,
Central Ticket Office.

.........well, I like the personal touch, and the polite tone of the letter, but am more than a little confused by the text....
.........they are telling me that PACE does NOT apply to the "fixed penalty system"
.....but then they say that a signature is a "legal requirement"
??????

Mika/etc:
...Should I compose a reply, or stay schtum and wait???

Thanks folks, keep up the good work,

Jon
JohnnyBoy
I got a similiar response after sending the PACE letter. Interesting difference is that they said they were sending it to their 'Presecution Unit" not the CPS ... no sure if this means anything.

I am keeping schtumm and waiting for the summons and pre trial review. Bear in mind, they have no evidence to take you to court for the speeding offence at this time ... unsigned NIP and video/photo are inadmissable as you know.

It is possible they will drop the case, but I think you/we should expect a summons.

I don't know maybe it's time to send a letter about where in law etc.etc? The thoughts of this forum from what I gather now would be that it would be best to keep quiet. A letter like that could be seen as an admission of guilt.

Any thoughts?
Guiltyuntilproven...
Hi there:

Don't know if this is just a typical B+B letter? It's SO tempting to reply to it, considering the "PACE does not apply" and "signature is required by law" comments.....
Are they trying to get a response, or is it really just B+B??

Take care all, and thanks,

Jon
Tamara-D
Jon,

I would suggest you write a letter of complaint, along the same lines as has been done here.

Tamara
Guiltyuntilproven...
Hi Tamara:
Thanks for the reply. I've read that thread already, and was pretty much in awe of the balls needed to write a letter like that.... smile.gif
In your opinion, would a letter of complaint be a tried and tested "wise move", or is it tantamount to feeding live bees to a pre-menstrual tiger? icon_eek.gif

Yours in "reply within 7 days" anticipation,

Jon
Mika
Hi Chaps,

I’m sorry, but I find it mildly amusing that you lot are using the law to terrorise them. icon_eek.gif

Can you imagine the scene at Camera Partnership H.Q.?

The management is all hiding under their desks:

“incoming PACE letter…….. quick, lob it over the fence to the CPS……” icon_redface.gif
Guiltyuntilproven...
QUOTE
I’m sorry, but I find it mildly amusing that you lot are using the law to terrorise them

I'm sure you do.... smile.gif
.....So, Mika, what are your thoughts on the "complaint against the CC" letter?? Is it a wise move, or too smart for it's own good? Can you see such a letter affecting an impending summons?
Your response, as ever, eagerly awaited...

Take care, keep up the good work,

Jon
Guiltyuntilproven...
Hi all,
A summons arrived today from Stafford Magistrates Court, and I would really appreciate any advice on what course of action to take.
Just a quick summary of the papers sent:

1) The summons: Prosecutor CC John Giffard
Offence 1: Failed to give information contrary to S172 between 03/10/03 and 01/11/03
Offence 2: speeding 30/09/03.

2) Proof by written statement....seems to be a bit where I can ask for witnesses to be called to give oral evidence..

3) Witness statement S9...from PC Plod...including the interesting claim:
"A further letter was received from Guiltyuntilproven stating he will not sign the Section 172 Notice."

4) Witness statement from Gatso Plod, bragging about the accuracy of his equipment.

5) A photocopy of my NIP/S172 form, completed by my spouse but unsigned.

6) A brown envelope.

7) Notes about attending Court.

8 ) Defendants information notice.

9) Not Guilty plea form.

10) Guilty plea form.

11) Means Enquiry form.

I've never been to court before, and have a clean licence. As a side note, the alleged offence was on an open dual carriageway in a rural area, that had for many years been a 70 zone. Apparently it is now a clearly marked 60 zone, except for one small stretch, where there is a 40 sign followed by a Gatso icon_evil.gif
Can anyone out there help me with the following questions?

...The summons lists both S172 and speeding, with S172 listed first. If I plead not guilty to both, how the heck do I defend the charges in court if they are presented in that order?? :?

...Is it worth calling the "witness" officers to court? I don't want to waste their time, as they're already too busy to answer burglar alarm calls at work...

...How can a serving Police officer sign a statement saying "letter...stating he will not sign the S172 notice" when I never stated any such thing? I sent the PACE letter, politely asking for my rights to be explained to me, and never said I would not sign. This seems to me to be a clear lie.

...Is it worth me asking for evidence, photos etc...and if so, who from?

...Assuming I plead not guilty to both charges, then a new date will be set. With the odds of losing at 25 to 1 , is it worth even turning up? Or will I be arrested if I dont?

...Should I fill out the Means Form? I'm on just over the minimum wage, no savings, big mortgage etc..


Thanks for reading this to the end, please help if you can,

Take care all,

Jon
jeffreyarcher
QUOTE (Guiltyuntilproven...)
3) Witness statement S9...from PC Plod...including the interesting claim:
"A further letter was received from Guiltyuntilproven stating he will not sign the Section 172 Notice."

I think that you should seek advanced disclosure of this letter from the CPS.

QUOTE (Guiltyuntilproven...)
...The summons lists both S172 and speeding, with S172 listed first. If I plead not guilty to both, how the heck do I defend the charges in court if they are presented in that order??

On the contrary, IMO, since you are Yorke compliant
[*], it is better to have them that way round. That way, at the time of the S172 trial, there is no need to bring up the fact that you did not fill in the form, which would expose you to the problem of, 'can a S172 recipient delegate the authority?'
You need only bring it up if you wish in order to defend the 'not signing' position.
When you get to the speeding trial, you are free to use the fact that you didn't fill in the form as a defence without worrying about the effect on a following S172 trial.
[*] You should note that partners are not spouses and cannot decline to testify on those grounds.

QUOTE (Guiltyuntilproven...)
...Is it worth calling the "witness" officers to court? I don't want to waste their time, as they're already too busy to answer burglar alarm calls at work...

Probably not; if they're not there, they can't correct any erroneous witness statements.

QUOTE (Guiltyuntilproven...)
...How can a serving Police officer sign a statement saying "letter...stating he will not sign the S172 notice" when I never stated any such thing? I sent the PACE letter, politely asking for my rights to be explained to me, and never said I would not sign. This seems to me to be a clear lie.

Rule #1: Scammers lie.
The fact that it's a lie, I don't really see as being of any practical benefit to you, but you do want to disprove it, as above; the wording sends 'bad vibes'.

QUOTE (Guiltyuntilproven...)
...Is it worth me asking for evidence, photos etc...and if so, who from?

Most certainly; from the CPS.

QUOTE (Guiltyuntilproven...)
...Assuming I plead not guilty to both charges, then a new date will be set. With the odds of losing at 25 to 1 , is it worth even turning up?

Assuming that you're talking about the trial proper, if you don't (or don't send a representative), you will be found guilty in your absence (and probably to both icon_eek.gif ).
Guiltyuntilproven...
Thank you, jeffreyarcher smile.gif
It's quite a daunting prospect going into a room full of people who are there professionally day after day, not knowing what to expect at all.
Any advice about what to take with me? Copies of case history etc? Any PMs with any help or support would be most appreciated at this time.

Thanks again folks,

Take care,
Jon
Observer
Guiltyuntilproven,

With respect to jeffreyarcher, I would suggest you consider the following.

QUOTE (Guiltyuntilproven...)
3) Witness statement S9...from PC Plod...including the interesting claim:
"A further letter was received from Guiltyuntilproven stating he will not sign the Section 172 Notice."


QUOTE (jeffreyarcher)
I think that you should seek advanced disclosure of this letter from the CPS.


I don't think requesting disclosure is the best thing to do. The statement presumably refers to the PACE letter you wrote on which PC Plod has placed a different and erroneous interpretation. Better, imo, to call the witness to attend. You can cross-examine on his statement and score some points.

QUOTE (Guiltyuntilproven...)
...The summons lists both S172 and speeding, with S172 listed first. If I plead not guilty to both, how the heck do I defend the charges in court if they are presented in that order??

QUOTE (jeffreyarcher)
On the contrary, IMO, since you are Yorke compliant
[*], it is better to have them that way round. That way, at the time of the S172 trial, there is no need to bring up the fact that you did not fill in the form, which would expose you to the problem of, 'can a S172 recipient delegate the authority?'
You need only bring it up if you wish in order to defend the 'not signing' position.
When you get to the speeding trial, you are free to use the fact that you didn't fill in the form as a defence without worrying about the effect on a following S172 trial.


I doubt that the order on which the charges appear on the summons will have any bearing on the order in which the charges are heard at trial. It is logical, and imo necessary for your defence, that the speeding is dealt with first. If not, there is a risk that you may find it necessary to give evidence on oath that you "provided the information" on the unsigned form which substantiates the evidence of identity of driver and facilitates conviction on the speeding charge. I am not sure that evidence given in the trial on the s.172 charge can, in law, be carried over to the trial of the speeding charge but there must be a risk it will happen.

The "Yorke compliant" issue only comes into play if the unsigned form is introduced as a confession and observation of current CPS strategy makes this seem unlikely. Even then, there are some weaknesses in the argument. See http://forums.pepipoo.com/index.php?showto...30&start=15


QUOTE (Guiltyuntilproven...)
...Is it worth calling the "witness" officers to court? I don't want to waste their time, as they're already too busy to answer burglar alarm calls at work...

QUOTE (jefferyarcher)
Probably not; if they're not there, they can't correct any erroneous witness statements.


See above. If the witness can be forced to withdraw/correct his s.9 statement, it may have a psychological effect on the bench which will work in your favour. He may correct his statement but it doesn't hurt you for your letter to be examined in evidence.

QUOTE (Guiltyuntilproven...)
...Is it worth me asking for evidence, photos etc...and if so, who from?

QUOTE (jeffreyarcher)
Most certainly; from the CPS.


Only worthwhile, imo, if you believe there is or could be some doubt about the reliability of the speed measurement. Your clear and best defence on the speeding is lack of evidence of identity. If you try to defend on totally separate lines, you risk loss of credibility.
Guiltyuntilproven...
Observer:
Thank you for taking the time to reply so fully smile.gif . Only now I have two well-reasoned points of view to mull over. Dammit. biggrin.gif
Apparently I have seven days to request the witnesses attend in person, so I should hurry up and decide...

Thanks again folks, I'm off to ponder the whole thing again...

Take care,

Jon
Guiltyuntilproven...
Right folks...I guess it's a trip to court for little old me. I've not called any witnesses, but haven't sent off the pleas yet. The summons is for 7th April, and seems to say as long as I plead guilty beforehand, a new date will be set. I'm happy to start putting my S172 defence together, as all information was supplied. My only worry is the speeding being heard at the same time. Most people on here seem to be defending S172 only, so I'm struggling for help. I'm probably stupid enough to incriminate myself for speeding whilst confidently defending S172. rolleyes.gif
When I eventually send off the pleas, should I ask for them to be heard separately? Do I need give a valid reason? Does it ever work? Do I ask the courts or the CPS?
Do I wait for the new trial date to be set before I ask for disclosure?

Sorry to ask so many questions, I hope you can help,

Take care all,

Jon
Guiltyuntilproven...
Quick update, for anyone with an interest?

I decided to delay the sending of my pleas pending the outcome of Idris' case.....well, the court would have delayed anyway... smile.gif
Now, the general concensus for those up for S172 seems to be: Plead guilty, but explain that in mitigation, at the time of returning the form, the law was obviously unclear on the requirement to sign, hence the need for the Idris appeal, therefore the lack of signature was due to the understanding that no signature was required....?
But what of the few up for S172 AND speeding??
It may seem like a daft question, but are we pleading guilty to both charges, or still not guilty to the speeding?
My thoughts are that if the barstewards are going to get me with failing to supply information as to the identity of the driver, even though I did, albeit unsigned, I'm buggered if will get me for speeding.....
Can they really do me for speeding in the same breath as convicting me for failing to tell them who was speeding???????

Take care all,
Idris for President...

Jon
Ker-ching
I have asked a similar question in another thread and also have not had any answer, so, again:'

For those of us who have gone the unsigned route, does the Francis decision make it more likely for the CPS to succeed in prosecuting for both speeding and failure to provide info in a way that would not have been so before the decision?

I know that John Josephs (Idris Francis's solicitor) said after the decision that CPS is likely to go just for S172 convictions and not bother with speeding ones because they won't know which may be Yorke-compliant (signed by an agent and thus protected from the unsigned NIP being used as a witness statement), but that is only his best guess about CPS tactics.

Again, is the "double-whammy" now more likely to be successful?
Observer
QUOTE (Ker-ching)
I have asked a similar question in another thread and also have not had any answer, so, again:'

For those of us who have gone the unsigned route, does the Francis decision make it more likely for the CPS to succeed in prosecuting for both speeding and failure to provide info in a way that would not have been so before the decision?


I've posted on this at some length before (if only I had an indexing system). Anyway, here goes again. Bear in mind this is only logical analysis which, however persuasive it may seem to me (or you), may be totally disregarded in court.

1. For a s.172 charge to succeed, it is first necessary that a speeding charge has failed (either defendant found not guilty or charge was not brought or, if brought, was dropped before trial) on grounds of insufficient of evidence of driver identity. Why? Because the offence is "failing to provide information". If a speeding conviction has been obtained on information provided by the driver, then there cannot have been a failure to provide information.

2. So, if a defendant is up on speeding and s.172, the speeding matter must be dealt with first. If a conviction is obtained (not using evidence of identity provided other than by the driver), the s.172 cannot succeed because the speeding charge could not have succeeded if the s.172 offence has been committed.
Ker-ching
Observer:

Thanks for recapitulating the argument for those of us who also have no indexing system laugh.gif

So the answer is "No, the Francis decision has not made it any easier for the CPS to achieve the double whammy."
Guiltyuntilproven...
Thanks again, Observer. smile.gif
So, in plain English for the hard of understanding, if a plea has not yet been submitted, plead guilty with mitigating circumstances to S172, but NOT guilty to speeding???
Hmmm, no...

QUOTE
For a s.172 charge to succeed, it is first necessary that a speeding charge has failed

....unless you previously pleaded guilty to the S172 so you're screwed on both?
:?
So, is this sound logic?
1) Charged with S172 only, plead guilty as a signature IS required.
2) Up for S172 AND speeding, plead not guilty to both, and they should only get you on whichever is heard first?

Help?
Off to kill off a few more grey cells...take care all,

Jon
Guiltyuntilproven...
Hi all,
...A quick update for anyone interested...

I decided to go for the damage limitation option, plead guilty to speeding, but not guilty to failing to supply, as the law was in a terrible mess at the time, and not only judges but entire police forces were confused as to the requirement of a signature....on the understanding that they were going to get me on at least one of the two charges post Idris...and 3 points for speeding is generally seen as a lesser insurance risk than 3 points for failing to provide???
So, I sent a plea off, along with a letter of mitigation, and my licence.....
...3 weeks later, I've got my licence back, SP30, £60 fine to be paid by May19...
Well, I think it could have been alot worse....just wait and see how much my insurance premium goes up...
No mention of a further summons for S172, so I'll phone the courts on Tuesday for peace of mind....I'm slightly concerned because there's no mention of the £35 costs applied for by the CPS on the 1st summons...
On the bright side, I'm assuming points on your licence stay on from the date of offence, not the date of conviction??

Take care all,
Jon
jeffreyarcher
What makes you think they've dropped the S172? There's nothing in this thread to indicate that.
Rosewell
If you are going this route better to agree a deal with the CPS first. " If I plead guilty to the speeding will you drop the S172?" [Unless you were going so fast that a ban is on the cards, then you would want it the other way around and collect only 3 points instead].
Regards,
Guiltyuntilproven...
QUOTE
What makes you think they've dropped the S172


Mr Archer: Apologies, on re-reading this thread, I see I've omitted a few details. Here goes:
I was waiting for the Idris outcome before I returned my pleas to both charges. After the "clarification" that a person must in the eyes of the law sign a confession on request, and that the confession could be used as the only evidence to secure a conviction, furthermore that failing to sign was indeed an offence in itself, I decided on the route that should be the least financially challenging. Given the general opinion that a signature IS a legal requirement, and that 3points for SP30 seems less of an insurance risk than 3points for failing to provide, I hoped to steer things towards a simple speeding only.
So, I phoned the CPS before the trial, and a very nice lady explained that they could not drop the S172 charge, as they had not received my case file from the police, nor was it likely they would before the hearing. The logic being, she explained, that if I plead guilty, there would be no need for a prosecution case, and if I plead not guilty, a new date would be set, giving the CPS time to look at the case...
So....then a quick phone call to the local friendly bobbies...sorry, the centralised automated police call-centre thingy, where I eventually got put through to a pleasant lady who, after shouting over to her supervisor "we're doing 'im fer both, wot's 'is best bet?", explained to me that the two charges were no more than "belt an' braces" and that the constabulary would be more than happy to "do" me with just one.
I suggested that I plead not guilty to both, then they could pick which one they fancied, but the pleasant lady said if I were to go guilty on the speeding, the S172 would be of no concern....
Well, a not guilty to S172 and guilty of speeding was put in by post, and I didn't attend nor was I represented. I did though enclose my licence and a beautiful letter of explanation. icon_wink.gif
Licence returned with SP30 and £60 fine. A quick call to the courts confirmed that there were no costs to pay, and that the charge of failing to supply had been withdrawn.
Not exactly a major result, but an extra 9 months without points, oodles of paperwork for the scammers, and no great expense.

Rosewell: I hope this explains why it was impossible to deal with the CPS.

Thanks again all,
Take care,

JonB
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