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Nick Read
There is a hell of a lot of detail to this one, but I'll try and keep to the basics. I've defeated Essex Gatsos and mobile units a few times in the past few years so I know the ropes, so to speak. Most recently I got caught on the A14 DC by a follow check over a year ago (documented elsewhere on here) and I was handed down a 28 day ban and £100 fine. That was in November 2004. I've also got a TS10 from a while back, 'runs out' this July. I drive a fast, noisy car. I work on it myself, it rarely comes out of the garage or sees wet weather, it's totally road legal, taxed and insured all the time, even though it's off the road a lot, and when it's on the road it tends to be because I'm on the way to a race meeting, a drag strip, a track day, a show or a club event. So that's my background. Now onto the current problem.

It was the last Saturday night of January, I'd been to meet up with a few friends in Norwich, and I was on my way home to Lowestoft. For those of you who know the area, I headed out past the A47 junction at Trowse Newton (near County Hall), following the A146 southbound towards Beccles. This is wide, sweeping single-carriageway A-road all along, winding its way past the outskirts of a few small villages and junctions, with variable limits from 60 down to 30 depending on the location. Most of it is unlit and as you're away from any towns, it's very dark at night.

Just before you hit the main A146 single carriageway section on the way out to the countryside there is a short section of dual carriageway with an NSL sign, which I took to mean 70. Anyway, I was accelerating along here probably doing 70, to overtake someone going pretty slow in the left hand lane, a Punto I think, then as soon as I got to the single carriageway bit, coasted down to around 60. Having just got off a ban I didn't fancy getting followed and clobbered again. Anyway, as I was coasting back to 60, I noticed headlights behind me on what had been a totally deserted road. It definitely wasn't the Punto because I had left that a long way back and to my knowledge there were no side roads, so it was someone moving pretty fast up behind me, who'd overtaken the Punto and at the rate they were gaining, would be ready to overtake me pretty soon.

So I carried on cruising at 60, but then for some reason, this car behind which had seemed to have been in such a hurry, doing well over the limit, 80-90 maybe, backed off and seemed to be keeping station a few hundred yards behind me. Weird I thought, but in this day and age, people have lost the art of overtaking and like to sit on your arse the whole time. Not to worry I thought, I'll just cruise along like this, keep to the speed limit (or perhaps 5mph over - the road was deserted apart from this one car behind me), and if it turns out to be a copper, then I've not done anything wrong anyway.

I happily went on my way, this car following me never more than a few hundred yards back, closing up when I slowed down for 50, 40 and 30 zones, hanging back again when I was able to open it up to 60 again, then eventually after 8-10 miles and 10-15 minutes drive, I gradually came up behind a line of very slow traffic (30mph) in a 60 zone at a place called Loddon. Dead straight road, clear on the other side for a good quarter of a mile to the crest of the hill ahead, well lit. I thought to myself, even if that is a copper behind me, there's nothing wrong with overtaking safely, no reason why I shouldn't drive the same as I normally do? Then a gap opened up in front of the car ahead of me, so I indicated to overtake, made my move, and then as I was about to pull back in - well I'm sure you've figured it by now - the mystery car behind pulled out even though there was nowhere for them to go, turn on the blue lights, forced their way into the line of traffic and pulled me over at the next T-junction.

To cut a very long story short, there were two of them, male and female. The male did the talking while the female went round my car trying to pick it up on road legality. He straight out told me I'd been doing 90mph at Trowse Newton/Framlingham Pigot, which is basically the area right at the beginning of my story, 8-10 miles back. He told me he knew this because they had been following me the whole time and their speedo said 90. I was unsure about whether to argue it there or just keep quiet, so I erred on the side of caution, figuring it best to say less rather than more. I did unequivocally deny it and said I had not done anything of the sort. Then he changed his story and said I'd been speeding the whole way along this road, and again I denied it totally, confident that I was telling the truth. If I had been 'speeding' it would have been of the order of a few mph - a speedo error thing rather than anything major (I didn't say this to them.) Then the female officer went round the whole car, trying to pick fault with the lights, the indicators, the number plates, the interior...on every single point, I demonstrated that they were entirely road legal. She definitely knew very little about Construction & Use because she falsely claimed that my front number plate was illegally spaced because I have a short number (it wasn't - I had specifically asked Halfords to make me a perfect legal plate because it seemed ridiculous to get pulled for something as stupid as illegal spacing on a car that attracts the kind of attention mine does).

Next I was asked to define my 'ethnicity' for the HO/RT1 form and when I questioned their categories and the male officer's assumption of my ethnic background (my dad is white and English and my mum is Indonesian and I suppose, brown) he got a bit shirty I think. He asked why had I put 'mixed other' and I said because I did not consider myself British Asian, or however they had it. That to me means British but with ancestry from the Indian subcontinent, whether Pakistani, Indian, Bangladeshi etc. In Britain, 'Asian' does not mean 'Asian', it means something quite specific. Well anyway, he said that Asian didn't mean Indian and that was that. Then he gave me the verbal NIP for exceeding the speed limit, which I was quite surprised about because I had assumed that if he was going to do that, he should have mentioned it at the BEGINNING of the stop, not AFTER he had already informally questioned me, accused me of various speeding charged, breathalysed me, tried to make out I had an unroadworthy car and presumed to know my ethnic background better than I.

After all this they headed straight back to Norwich, so they had obviously been following me deliberately the whole time.

A few days later I was still infuriated by the treatment I had had and wrote to Norfolk Constabulary about it to complain. My answer was that as the matter would probably be subject to court proceedings, the complaint could not be dealt with until after this had been sorted out. Last week I received a court summons for the alleged offence, and now, the allegation was of speeds 'up to 94mph'. Conveniently enough that puts the offence into the 6 point/ban bracket rather than the 4-5 point bracket that 90mph would have been in.

I know that nowadays the police will do anything to secure a speeding conviction, and I'm no longer naive enough to believe that the CPS actually DO work to a minimum standard of evidence necessary for a prosecution to go ahead. I know they've got very little to lose in having a go at me. From friends and contacts in other police forces who shall remain unnamed, it appears that if they really want to push this prosecution, the bottom line is that it doesn't matter how many logical arguments I make - because there were two officers in the car, there is very little I can do to argue against them corroborating each other's 'expert opinion' of excess speed. However it does seem that this would be a bit of a stretch and that normally other evidence would be relied upon. I know the drill with requesting copies of prosecution evidence, which I'll do as soon as I get the next hearing date for my 'not guilty' plea.

What I want to know is what do you lot think? I can think of a lot of reasons why their claim of first 90 and now 94 are totally false, but the thing is, will the magistrates believe me? Will they basically be of the opinion that if there is any doubt, I must be lying and the police must be telling the truth? I just feel abused by this whole thing, framed for something I just have not done. It makes me feel sick to think that these people are supposed to be upholding the law, yet instead they pick on easy targets like me and make up lies to try and make their crime clear-up figures look better. A few arguments/points that I may raise:

If I was doing such an intergalactic speed on a 60mph A-road, why wasn't I stopped immediately? The road was utterly empty and traffic free, with ample laybys and junctions to stop in.

If not stopped immediately, why was I allowed to drive on for 80-10 miles, 10-15 minutes before being stopped, apparently just because I had had the audacity to overtake the first car I had seen in all that time?

If I had been speeding the whole time, how come it took so long before I reached the cars in front?

WHy was I not NIPped straight away. Either I WAS going to be reported or I wasn't. What reason for the delay? Or is it more likely that at first they were just going to try and put the frighteners on me but then something happened to make them harden their attitude and throw the book at me?

Why was my self-defined ethnicity questioned? Is it a coincidence that after this little disagreement I was then given the NIP?

Why had my car been singled out for such a long follow check?

Obviously their car would have had to do 90mph to keep up with me doing a steady 60. By my calculations, even from a rolling start a quarter of a mile behind, they would have taken at least half a minute, accelerating up to 90 and beyond, before getting close to me. Are they that stupid that they don't realise that just because it said 90 on their speedo doesn't necessarily mean I was doing 90 in front of them?

The follow distance was constantly changing. It was pitch dark. How could they even hope to keep any kind of accurate and constant distance?

AFAIK no other evidence exists apart from their looking at their own speedo.

Was speedo calibrated at the end of the shift?

Officer plainly demonstrated ignorance of number plate rules. What else were they ignorant about?

Why was the overtake chosen as the point at which to stop me. This was the most dangerous move they could have made? The road was deserted up to that point.

Were they singling me out because of my 'boy racer' car? Because of me? Because they had to be seen to be doing something worthwhile with their time while simultaneously (11:20 on a Saturday night) their colleagues were most likely doing a good job, dealing with disorder and violence at chucking out time in Norwich?

Why would I even do such a speed, when I'd only just come off a 28 day ban, in the same car?

Why has the speed changed from 90 to 94?

ALL HELP, OPINIONS much appreciated. Cheers!
TheSaint
I would say they are singling you out because your car draws attention, and they are going to assume that a car like yours is going to be driven badly.

Then when its not, they pull you and do you anyway.
2 Pigs, unfortunately they can make anything up.

Its getting to the point where you need to carry a dictaphone on you (or use your mobile phone to record the conversation), and have a camera in your car to record the journey.

Word of advice though, I find that driving an extremely fast car is best done if the car does not look extremely fast.
My car looks like an unassuming bog standard ford focus with no mods, but its not smile.gif
Plus i hate noisey exhausts that dont add anything (but to annoy your neighbours) to the car.
Nick Read
Yes I agree entirely! I'd much rather my car was a 'sleeper' but unfortunately - when you tune a 12-year old Clio to the point that it's capable of 0-100 in 11 secs and can stay in front of a well-driven M3 around the Nurburgring - that sort of work results in compromises...and these also tend to be the things that draw attention to a road car - i.e. huge brakes, gaping air intakes and a side-exit exhaust. Hence the reason I don't drive it very much. I love driving it, but most of the time I just drive my old VW Scirocco 1800 - much quieter, a third of the speed and twice the mpg. And most importantly, no-one looks twice at it!
Nick Read
Well I finally got the summons for the speeding allegation, the case was set for the 25th April and I'd entered a Not Guilty plea by post. A few days after this, I received a court order stating that the case has been adjourned, this time to 23rd May at Norwich Magistrates' Court. It appears to me that on the 25th April the court didn't even bother dealing with my plea at all and simply left it for another time. So this time when it goes to court, if they can be bothered to deal with it, I assume they will simply register the Not Guilty plea and then set another date sometime in the future for a pre-trial review or the full hearing...

Does this kind of delay in procedure sound right? Is my reading of it correct?

Lastly and most importantly, can anyone recommend a good solicitor in the Lowestoft/Yarmouth/Norwich area who has experience of defending allegations of speeding? I just have a feeling that if I go in there without legal representation they will throw my arguments back in my face and wrongly convict me on the false police 'evidence'. I would dearly love to really stick it to them and make the CPS pay costs and have to go back to the office with a 'failure to convict' on their monthly bonus sheet. If I can launch a counter-claim of perverting the course of justice or something, even better...I cannot believe that two coppers can be so bent as to think they can get away with framing me up like this.
mb1rgw
What was enclosed with the summons?  List everything (minus identifying details), and the exact wording of the s9 statements from plod.

robin
Nick Read
The Summons sheets states:

"On 29.01.2005 at Framlingham Pigot Norfolk drove a motor vehicle (Car) on a single carriageway road, namely A146, at a speed exceeding 60 miles per hour. Contrary to article 3 of the 70 miles per hour, 60 miles per hour and 50 miles per hour (Temporary Speed Limits) Order 1977 as varied and continued, Section 89(1) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 and Schedule 2 to the Road Traffic Offenders Act, 1988."

On the 'Statement of Facts' which was the bit I had to send in with my plea to the court (luckily I scanned it in first), this is slightly different, and here it states:

"At 23:20 On 29.01.2005 drove motor vehicle (Car) on A146 Framlingham Pigot, a single carriageway road, at a speed exceeding the legal limit of 60 m.p.h. The speed recorded was up to 94mph. An application for you to pay costs of £35.00 towards prosecution expenses will be made. Do not make any payment until the case has been heard."

I have a detailed record of what I remember of our conversation when I was stopped at the side of the road, which I wrote up the following day. This was copied to the Police Complaints authority as part of my complaint to them, and I had plainly been told that I was supposedly doing 90mph, not 94 as claimed on their false 'statement of facts'. As far as I am concerned I was doing the speed limit the entire time and wherever it went down, I slowed down, wherever it increased, I speeded up. I will defend this assertion to the utmost of my ability and will never admit to an offence I did not commit.

Any help appreciated!
Nick Read
BTW the offence code seems to be 'SPEEDING - EXCEED LIMIT 60 MPH'
mb1rgw
What, no bundle with statements, exhibits etc?  How about a list of witnesses?

robin
Nick Read
No, at the moment it looks like this is just a brief hearing to enter my not guilty plea after which I assume a date will be set for either a pre-trial review or the actual hearing itself. As usual, I expect they will make no evidence available until a date has been scheduled to hear the case properly...
mb1rgw
That's not usual at all.  Usually there is a full evidence bundle with the summons - how are you supposed to judge whether to plead guilty or not if you haven't seen the evidence.

Sounds like they may have screwed up - you may be able to exclude any evidence they try to bring on grounds of non-disclosure.

robin
Mr Nervous
So a summons should always be accompanied by a full selection of evidence against you?  icon_question.gif

My two summons that I had come through the other day for the alleged offence itself and S172 (following my PACE letter) only had the summons sheets and statement of means form to return.

If I reply NG by post and they re-arrange it (like Nick's case appears to be doing) I assume that if I do not receive any of the evidence against me before the actual day then it will not be able to be used in court?

Though sod's law dictates that it'd come through the day before...  rolleyes.gif
andyjflet
Just a word of warning, my case to (Off to court then) meant initially they didnt send a bundle of evidence or witness statements, the offence was June 2004, the bundle eventually arrived Februay 2005, I was convicted today  :(
Nick Read
Well AFAIK the standard way that these things have been dealt with for some years now, by most counties, is that they summons you first, if you plead guilty and it's an offence that is a simple matter of 3 points and a fine, they hand down your punishment and that's it. If you plead not guilty, then they cannot deal with it at the first hearing. Therefore they simply enter the not guilty plea and reschedule a hearing. At this point the CPS 'officially' know your plea is not guilty and this is when you can start nagging them for evidence. Before that point it is VERY unusual for the CPS to volunteer evidence as they often don't have it, or at least not up to trial standard. The nearest you'll get, for a motoring offence at least, is a speed camera photo, and from what I can see, a lot of people get NIPs in the post that don't even have that any more.

The next stage will be either a pre-trial review where the CPS will come along and try and bargain to get a conviction early, and it'll be decided if I am sticking to my not guilty plea, who are the witnesses and what evidence will be relied upon.
jeffreyarcher
QUOTE (Nick Read)
Just a quicky. The full details of the case are posted elsewhere, but basically I was followed along a deserted road sticking to all the speed limits for 8-10 miles and eventually pulled over in the dead of night by two coppers in what may have been a traffic car, given a HO/RT1 producer and verbal NIP for supposedly doing 90 mph 10 miles back. This was a complete lie and I will defend myself to the best of my ability.  

After the date of the original hearing (the one where they enter your first not guilty plea that you send in by post), the case was adjourned, seemingly without my plea even having been looked at. A month later (23rd May) it was looked at again, my not guilty plea entered and the case adjourned for 28th June. I have had a letter from the court stating that this is a 'trial' - by which I assume they mean it is not a pre-trial review for evidence and witnesses to be agreed upon.  

I have had nothing from the CPS and nothing from the police directly regarding this, everything so far has been summonses and court orders from the court.

With all my previous allegations of speeding, it was my right to have the prosecution 'evidence' disclosed to me no later than 7 days before the trial. Is this still my right even though the allegations were made following a stop check? I don't want to go into court with the outcome already a done deal between the CPS and the court. I am certain that the only 'evidence' they have is a scribbled note in their police notebook saying that I did 90mph, or as they now have it, 94mph - strangely the speed went up between when I was stopped and when the summons was issued. At the time they said that because they were following me and their speedo said 90, that meant that I was also doing 90. This was night time on a winding A road with varying speed limits and they were a varying distance behind me for around 15 minutes.

Any help much appreciated. Any recommended lawyers in the Lowestoft/Yarmouth/Norwich area who can really stitch these bent coppers up on my behalf? I really am furious that they've got the front to try and prosecute me for something I am completely innocent of, just because they can. I'm willing this time to hire a solicitor who knows their stuff, just to wipe the smile off their faces and make THEM pay costs for a change.
Nick Read
Cheers for posting it over here for me!

So, if it IS the trial coming up, as it seems to be, do I:

a) Find a good solicitor in Norwich and get this case properly defended?
B) Try and defend it myself as usual and write a letter to the Norfolk CPS asking that they disclose their prosecution evidence immediately, and in any case no later than 7 days before the trial?
c) Both of the above - saying to the CPS that as a preliminary measure I am requesting disclosure anyway, and that my solicitor will be contacting them before the trial and representing me at court?
jrp45
You could try Fosters Or Belmores in Norwich...

You have my sympathies.. My Pace hearing is in Lowestoft on the 22nd June...
LancashireLad
The more legwork that can be done by you is less that needs to be done by a solicitor (at £xxx per letter etc)

disclosure is a standard request.  A few posts on here have some nice "what to ask for and why" lists.
Nick Read
Both useful answers, cheers. Belmores was a name that had come up before when I was looking around, IIRC they were the solicitors who highlighted the lack of the Chief Constable's name on the Norfolk NIPs lately?

I'll get a disclosure request off to Norwich CPS then, and see what comes of it. I assume the 7-day-before-trial deadline still applies for them to deliver the evidence to me, failing which I can request an adjournment? Do the statements of two police officers corroborating each other count as proper evidence without ANY other measurement of speed beyond their patrol car speedo? As I am betting that they have no other evidence beyond their own misguided opinion.

There is a secondary issue here, that I have 3 points from a TS10 which will expire in mid July. Therefore if the case could be adjourned again for another month, that would leave me with a cleaner licence. The points would be showing for another year but invalid for court purposes. It looks like they've deliberately upped the supposed speed so that I go well into the 6 point/ban bracket.
madmish
QUOTE
There is a secondary issue here, that I have 3 points from a TS10 which will expire in mid July. Therefore if the case could be adjourned again for another month, that would leave me with a cleaner licence. The points would be showing for another year but invalid for court purposes. It looks like they've deliberately upped the supposed speed so that I go well into the 6 point/ban bracket


If you were to be convicted of this offence the points would go on from the date of offence, not the date of prosecution so your current 3 would be taken into account, even if they expire before trial.
andy_foster
QUOTE (Nick Read)
IIRC they were the solicitors who highlighted the lack of the Chief Constable's name on the Norfolk NIPs lately?



icon_twisted.gif
Nick Read
Oh yes, good call! Didn't think of that...if they don't get you one way they get you another.
Nick Read
Just had the CPS write back to me regarding disclosure of prosecution evidence. Thanks to those who found this thread for me again so I could tack this stuff on the end! Anyway...

I requested the prosecution evidence before the trial on 28th June, and surprisingly, there is only ONE police statement, not TWO. I had all along assumed the two officers would corroborate each other, but it seems not. The evidence relevant to this case appears to be simply one officer's statement and the HO/RT1 form. It clearly states that this is ALL the material evidence in this case and that the only relevant evidence from the prosecution is that of the PC who stopped me, who will be called at the trial. Presumably the officer's opinion is corroborated by his speedo and that's all they think they need?

The important bits from the statement:

"I estimated the speed of the offender's vehicle to be in excess of 60mph which is the limit in respect of that road. The speed shown on the patrol car speedometer was 94-90 mph for 2/10 mile distance."

"Following check. Checked from A47 Keswick Robic CA2. Patrol vehicle make Mondeo. Reg mk. X609 XPW. Checked at 60mph At (Time) 0220 on (date) 30.1.05 by 770 +9051"

"Additional notes: Veh. seen A146 Trowse > L'stoft thru ATS at speed. We follow, slowed by car. overtakes. Passes Feathers P.H. LH bend onto straight, + speed registered. Through street lights and maintains speeds of 70mph. Traffic vol. light. Good vis, dry. Road dry, level in good order. A146 partrolled by road policing (a three dot 'therefore' sign here) high incidence of injury collision"

So, that's the statement that appears to be all the prosecution have - no corroboration from the other officer, no video or photographic evidence, no other witnesses and no admission of guilt from me. My defence is that I remember the patrol car come up behind me very fast when I was cruising at the speed limit and this must have been when they clocked the '94-90' on their speedo. Plus the speed has conveniently changed from 90 at the time of the stop to 94 a few months later. He makes no mention of a following distance or the maintenance of any such fixed distance which makes any comparison of a speed reading surely invalid? Is there any code applicable for doing an accurate follow check on someone? Even if there was a supposed 94mph, it only appeared for 2/10 mile, so I think I have a good case for arguing that the speed was registered in catching me up, not in following consistently.

TBH, if he says I had been doing 70 in a 60 for a while, I won't fight that, I thought I was doing the limit but I can accept that my speedo might be a bit out and I might have crept over on an empty, dry, wide road in the dead of night. I will not accept however that I was doing 90, nor 94 as it later became. What are my chances? Help!
_________________
Nick Read
Anyone???
DW190
QUOTE
So, that's the statement that appears to be all the prosecution have - no corroboration from the other officer, no video or photographic evidence, no other witnesses and no admission of guilt from me.


How about trying THIS
Mr Nervous
QUOTE (Nick Read)
TBH, if he says I had been doing 70 in a 60 for a while, I won't fight that, I thought I was doing the limit but I can accept that my speedo might be a bit out and I might have crept over on an empty, dry, wide road in the dead of night. I will not accept however that I was doing 90, nor 94 as it later became. What are my chances? Help!


If they are doing you for exceeding the speed limit, then it is a yes/no offence isn't it?  So if you admitted to any speed over the limit then they will get you!   icon_eek.gif   You are not arguing over the speed, you are arguing that you didn't exceed the speed limit!

You will have to maintain that no speed limits were exceeded at any time if you want to defend it successfully in my (hopefully correct) opinion.

Anyone else back me up / shoot me down?   smile.gif
andy_foster
Whilst the offence is exceeding the speed limit, the sentence is largely dependant upon the speed.
It is possible to plead guilty to the speeding allegation, but to challenge the quoted speed through a Newton Hearing.
To do this, you should notify the court in advance (e.g. when entering a plea), as evidence will need to be given (in largely the same way it would if you were pleading not guilty).
Nick Read
Thanks for the ideas so far. As the date's already been set for the 'not guilty' trial, isn't it too late to change my plea? Wouldn't I be better off just changing it at the trial? And if so, who's the person to bargain with - the CPS lawyer or the magistrates. If I want to do this Newton Hearing do I definitely have to inform them beforehand? I definitely don't want to get stitched up for 94mph.
andy_foster
ISTR someone pleading guilty in advance and being told that if they wanted a Newton Hearing, they should have pleaded not guilty.
When the court is geared up for a guilty plea (and no prosecution evidence or witnesses are present), they won't have the time or evidence/witnesses for a Newton Hearing.
If you have entered a not guilty plea, I can't see that there would be a problem with turning up on the day and pleading guilty to a lower speed, by way of a Newton Hearing, but advance notice might make the court look on you more favourably.
keyhole
Nick

I would have thought that it would be in your interest if that female PC was also brought to court to give her evidence, especially if she is as dozy as you inferred.  Sounds like they are shielding her from the case.  You may be able to insist that she attends.

As I wrote on another thread, if you can keep your wits about you in court, the chances are that the 2 of them will not give exactly the same evidence, and you can pounce on that in your cross examination.  If they don't say exactly the same thing, one of them is lying.  Don't forget that they do not hear each others statements in court - you will.
Nick Read
So if I want to cross-examine the female officer, I need to write to who? The CPS? Or the Police? Or even the court?

The Newton hearing thing looks good, but I'd rather play my cards close to my chest for the moment, maybe leave it until the actual trial.
Nick Read
Help! Any advice still welcome, this hearing is in a week's time, the 28th!

I've been thinking about other angles of attack (or defence if you want to think about it like that)...e.g. if he was following and effectively chasing me down at speeds of up to 94mph, why did he not turn the blue lights on. Surely at more than 50% over the speed limit by his own admission, he should have done that just out of safety. There must be some guidance from ACPO?

Secondly, this claim that he was doing '94 to 90mph' for 2/10 mile, what are the rules that govern how this speedo/distance measurement is taken? E.g. can it be done at night, how can a fixed distance be maintained accurately, does any other evidence become necessary beyond just glancing at the speedo?

Lastly, I've got a week to call this other police officer. Are you saying that when they come into court, they will make their statements separately? They won't be able to prompt each other or team up? Who do I call to get the other officer in? The police? The court? The CPS?

Help Help Help!
keyhole
Nick

Re:  "Lastly, I've got a week to call this other police officer. Are you saying that when they come into court, they will make their statements separately? They won't be able to prompt each other or team up? Who do I call to get the other officer in? The police? The court? The CPS?"


I don't know how you do it, but some else will....

Regarding any witnesses, they all have to sit outside the court and wait until they are called.  This way they will not hear evidence given by others.

Good luck
Nick Read
Cheers for that. I think I'll go for the Newton Hearing on the day then and hope that that convinces them that the allegation of 94 is crazy.

Best I write to the CPS then.
broosta
Nick, I have used Belmores for a speeding offence and they are ok-ish. Like most soliciters they don't want to actually do anything tricky/technical for your money, so will probably advise to play it safe. Give them a call to arrange a free consultation meeting where they will at least be able to advise the correct legal procedure for everything.
I pleeded not guilty up to the hearing then changed my plea to guilty with mitigating circumstances. I only used Belmores on the afternoon of the hearing and it cost £100+vat. but I'm pleased I did use them.
Good luck smile.gif .
Nick Read
Cheers for that Broosta. I have actually been in to see them a couple of weeks ago, but at the time I hadn't had the prosecution evidence through and they advised me on the basis of there being two corrobated police statements which would make it unwinnable.

I've been meaning to give them a ring back to let them know that there is only now one police statement but I've been so busy at work I've just not had the time to get anything done. Their advice to me when I saw them was to admit the possibility that I could have been doing a lower speed and totally deny the claim of up to 94 mph.

Still need a bit of info on any guidelines that police must follow when doing a following speed check, i.e. time, following distance or road conditions for the check, etc. otherwise surely they could stitch up anyone for anything without having to have  a scrap of evidence beyond their say so. Actually now I think about it, that IS the way it usually goes...
Nick Read
Well I had my day in court and I'm well and truly drained, but over the moon at the same time! After cross-examining the officer who made the reading and casting doubt on how he could possibly be sure his '94-90mph' speedo reading applied to my car in front, then arguing with the prosecutor over it as well, it seems the magistrates believed my version of events, and did not feel there was enough prosecution evidence to support an allegation of 94mph.

At the beginning of the trial, I talked to the Clerk of the Court and we agreed that we would go for a Newton Hearing, with me pleading guilty to a lesser charge of 70 in a 60 limit, whilst still defending myself against the claim of up to 94.

What I argued was that his initial assessment of excess speed was made when he was at standstill at a set of lights which was actually a section of 3 lane 70mph DC. I suggested that actually, if a car came past him at 70mph it would be bound to seem very fast. I then went on to pull apart his statement which quite accurately identified a particular straight stretch of road. I measured it this morning and it was only just over the 2/10 mile that he claimed to have clocked me on. At each end was a blind bend so effectively, the only chance he had to clock me was between when he turned onto the straight and sighted me, and when I reached the end of the straight and turned off. At 94mph, his 2/10 mile speed reading would have taken 7.6 seconds, which is short enough to make it hard to get an accurate reading. But then when you take into account that I would have been clearly in sight for only half of this distance on the straight, i.e. only around 3 or 4 seconds, it becomes almost impossible to believe that he could a) clock me at 94mph glancing at his speedo 3 or 4 times (as he admitted) B) drive at 94mph on an unlit A-road c) keep perfect station with my vehicle in front.

I had already managed to get out of him that he would have had to hang back around 80 yards at least just for safety's sake, and that he had no idea exactly how long that 94mph clocking would have taken to do, nor that there were any particular requirements that he followed when setting up for the speedo check.

It all added up to significant doubt over this evidence, and as I admitted that his later claim of 70mph in a 60 WAS plausible because it had been taken over a much longer distance, and I therefore admitted guilt to this...

The punishment came back as 3 points and a £60 fine, on the basis of it being a simple 70 in a 60, with prosecution awarded minimum costs of £35. Another victory for the common man against the CPS and police!

BTW I must thank the Clerk of the Court at Norwich Magistrates. He was really helpful and gave me the confidence to argue my case effectively even without a solicitor. And of course all the advice I've had on here has been invaluable in knowing what angles to go for.
keyhole
Well done, Nick.

I sounds like you managed to blind Mr Plod with your mathematics.  And I'll bet he had his ass whupped when he got back to the station.  Makes it all worth while, doesn't it, when you get a result by your own efforts.
matt1133
Well done it is very hard to argue in court when on your own, a good result! 8)
Nick Read
LOL yes I was well chuffed when I got out. Talking to Belmores solicitors beforehand did help, in that it became pretty clear that there was very little chance of winning a case like this outright when it's their word against mine. Damage limitation was the order of the day and it looks like having the courage of my convictions (no pun intended) saw me through.

I wouldn't say I'd recommend the experience though! But not having a solicitor certainly saved me a few quid.
LancashireLad
enough for a pepipoo subscription?  :wink:
toofast...
nicely done fella  8)
Nick Read
Cheers! I still can't quite believe that the man in the street can defend themselves and get quite technical - and win.
DW190
QUOTE (Nick Read)
Cheers! I still can't quite believe that the man in the street can defend themselves and get quite technical - and win.


You should have a word with our very well rehearsed cjm99.
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