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ast101
Hi all,

I have just got back from the Magistrates Court having been convicted of speeding.

The prosecution alleges I was traveling at 36mph in a 30 zone, and this was recorded on a LTI 20.20 Ultralyte Speedscope with a Lastec Video Recorder.

I defended the case on the following grounds

  • I was not speeding at the time, I drove in excess of 35 thousand miles a year in a limited area and was aware of my speed on the road in question.
  • The officer (A camera enforcement officer, not Police Officer) did not form a prior opinion before operating the device that I was speeding.
  • There were some anomolies in the video footage, I suggested the video proved my car was not in a position at the measured distance away from where the camera van was recorded to have been.


The third point was ruled inadmissable as I had not provided an expert witness.

Steven Edward Callaghan wrote a report on the alleged offence, who is an expert. I asked before attending court if he could give evidence orally. He did not attend, and his bundle of information was ruled inadmissable, both in use by the prosecution and by myself. This meant I could not use the mapping information to show my vehicle was not where the officer stated at the time of the alleged offence. I had sent mapping information myself to the CPS but was not allowed to use it as evidence by the court.

The Officer, Camera Enforcement Officer Brady of Merseyside Police was called by the prosecution to give evidence. He said he formed an opinion that I may have been speeding when the device was triggered.

I asked him about this, and he again confirmed, he did not form an opinion the vehicle was speeding, but may have been.

Camera Enforcement Officer Halliday gave evidence about the process of checking the film and sending notices. She was a fully certified and trained LTI 20.20 operator, I asked her when the correct time to operate the device was. She stated it was when an opinion had been formed that the vehicle was speeding.

The prosecutor introducing the case stated that the video evidence was not enough alone, and the court needed to bear in mind that was there only to confirm the prior opinion of the officer. The Magistrates in summing up stated that the conviction would be based on the video evidence, as it is assumed to be correct unless proven wrong, which I had not done.

I believed the burden of proof was on the prosecution, and that the two forms were neccesary. I was not allowed to refer to the ACPO guidelines on the use of the device, maps of the road etc. so was unable to challenge the video. The evidence of the officer was not that he believed I was speeding before the device was used.

So, where do I go from here, is the conviction sound?

£75 fine, £250 costs + victim surcharge + 3 points

Many thanks in advance for any advice/opinions!
davepoth
Possibly not, but can you afford to find out?
ast101
I cannot afford the fine as it is, but I'm not guilty and begrudge the situation!
desktop_demon
Sounds like the usual "disaster movie" - but well done for conducting your defence.

The case can only be reopened on appeal. That must be done within 21 days of the conviction and can take one of two forms. If some fact, found in the case, is disputed then the appeal should be the crown court in the first instance. If a point of law is in dispute then the magistrates can be asked to state their case to the high court. The high court will then rule on the point of law or procedures employed by the lower court. The appeal to the crown court would seem to be the way forward in this case - as the appeal seems to involve disputed fact not law. On the other hand the lower court ruling some evidence was not admissible may be a point of law/procedure that should be appealed to the high court via case stated. This would need some further consideration and I am not a lawyer.

I believe the court can take "judicial notice" of the contents of an Ordinance Survey map. So it is difficult to see why the OP's "geographic" arguments were dismissed.

The conviction might or might not be safe - it is difficult to tell from first analysis. The points raised above are relevant. Nice to see the "expert" from RSS, Mr Callaghan, being rejected. That might be a first! There is one question we would all like the know the answer for in this type of case - did Callaghan actually get paid for his work. If not it would be another chink in the RSS armour. Experts cannot be "paid by result"

Not sure I agree with the courts stance on expert witnesses. It seems to think that ONLY expert witnesses can give "scientific evidence". Which is bollox. If an expert witness was on trial would his expertness suddenly evaporate?

Either way - Good luck
ast101
QUOTE (desktop_demon @ Fri, 25 Feb 2011 - 17:24) *
The appeal to the crown court would seem to be the way forward in this case - as the appeal seems to involve disputed fact not law. On the other hand the lower court ruling some evidence was not admissible may be a point of law/procedure that should be appealed to the high court via case stated.


I was thinking the decision by the magistrates to accept just video evidence would be a point of law. The officer stated I may have been speeding, not was. I equally, therefore, may not have been! The balance of probability should be beyond a reasonable doubt and he had doubt before operating the device.

I thought therefore the point of law was a conviciton without primary evidence: http://forums.pepipoo.com/index.php?autoco...ticle&id=32

Does anybody know about legal aid in appeals?
peterguk
QUOTE (ast101 @ Fri, 25 Feb 2011 - 17:34) *
Does anybody know about legal aid in appeals?


For an offence of speeding, i think you'll find there is no legal aid.
ast101
QUOTE (peterguk @ Fri, 25 Feb 2011 - 17:50) *
QUOTE (ast101 @ Fri, 25 Feb 2011 - 17:34) *
Does anybody know about legal aid in appeals?


For an offence of speeding, i think you'll find there is no legal aid.



How about no win no fee?
peterguk
QUOTE (ast101 @ Fri, 25 Feb 2011 - 18:02) *
QUOTE (peterguk @ Fri, 25 Feb 2011 - 17:50) *
QUOTE (ast101 @ Fri, 25 Feb 2011 - 17:34) *
Does anybody know about legal aid in appeals?


For an offence of speeding, i think you'll find there is no legal aid.


How about no win no fee?


I doubt you'll find a solicitor willing to work on that basis since you've no guarantee of winning.

Hard cash up front. I had to find £14K to take my case to the High Court.
captain swoop
Of course he thought you 'may' have been speeding, that's why he pinged you with the laser to confirm it.
I don't see the objection, it seems like semantics to me.
ast101
QUOTE (captain swoop @ Fri, 25 Feb 2011 - 19:03) *
Of course he thought you 'may' have been speeding, that's why he pinged you with the laser to confirm it.
I don't see the objection, it seems like semantics to me.


It might seem like semantics, but I questioned him on this and he confirmed it was only a may.

QUOTE
The primary evidence for a speed trap run by police officers is not that produced by the speed meter, it is the opinion of the officer himself. The speed meter evidence corroborates his opinion and turns it from opinion into evidence of fact. This is supported by primary legislation RTA 1984 [1], the type approval instructions Speedmeter Handbook [2], the type approval conditions listed in the ACPO RPET code of practice for the meter’s use [3], the conditions for use in the ACPO RPET [4] [5] [6], and case law [7] [8].

So the evidence pack should contain an S9 WS from the officer where he ‘formed the opinion’ of excess speed. However sometimes this seems to be on the S20 instead, and sometimes the officer will attend court to provide his opinion.


To me that suggests the camera evidence only confirms his opinion that I might have been speeding, not that I was. Semantics is important in a court of law, it's a question on whether it's important enough. Does anybody know if a conviction has ever been uphold without an officer stating he had formed an opinion as per RTA 1984?
captain swoop
But he did form an opinion, you may have been speeding so he used the laser to confirm his opinion.
peterguk
QUOTE (captain swoop @ Fri, 25 Feb 2011 - 19:14) *
But he did form an opinion, you may have been speeding so he used the laser to confirm his opinion.


Which, IMHO, is all he has to do.
ast101
QUOTE (peterguk @ Fri, 25 Feb 2011 - 19:30) *
QUOTE (captain swoop @ Fri, 25 Feb 2011 - 19:14) *
But he did form an opinion, you may have been speeding so he used the laser to confirm his opinion.


Which, IMHO, is all he has to do.


Thanks all for your feedback, guess I'll have to pay up despite knowing I am innocent. Makes me feel so patriotic about the UK!
justforthepictures
QUOTE (ast101 @ Sat, 26 Feb 2011 - 16:57) *
QUOTE (peterguk @ Fri, 25 Feb 2011 - 19:30) *
QUOTE (captain swoop @ Fri, 25 Feb 2011 - 19:14) *
But he did form an opinion, you may have been speeding so he used the laser to confirm his opinion.


Which, IMHO, is all he has to do.


Thanks all for your feedback, guess I'll have to pay up despite knowing I am innocent. Makes me feel so patriotic about the UK!

So in addition to the prior opinion issue, are you saying the LTI was faulty or not used correctly?

Do you have any photos, such as the 'ping'?
roythebus
QUOTE (ast101 @ Sat, 26 Feb 2011 - 16:57) *
QUOTE (peterguk @ Fri, 25 Feb 2011 - 19:30) *
QUOTE (captain swoop @ Fri, 25 Feb 2011 - 19:14) *
But he did form an opinion, you may have been speeding so he used the laser to confirm his opinion.


Which, IMHO, is all he has to do.


Thanks all for your feedback, guess I'll have to pay up despite knowing I am innocent. Makes me feel so patriotic about the UK!
You're not the only one to feel that way about the UK! I too am totally pi55ed off about the way courts run rings around "us", the "innocent motorists", when robbers, muggers, illegal immigrants, terrorists and bent coppers get let off scot free.

Best wait for the police budget cuts and hopefully the camera vans will be a thing of the past.
sputnik365
QUOTE
The Magistrates in summing up stated that the conviction would be based on the video evidence

IMO the conviction must be on the evidence of the Officer that the vehicle was speeding.
The evidence from the LTI 2020 merely confirms that the officers opinion was correct.
Without unequivocal evidence from the officer, you would seem to have an appeal by way of case stated.
I may well be wrong.
Any eagles disagree?
mashman36
QUOTE (ast101 @ Fri, 25 Feb 2011 - 16:45) *
Hi all,

I have just got back from the Magistrates Court having been convicted of speeding.

The prosecution alleges I was traveling at 36mph in a 30 zone, and this was recorded on a LTI 20.20 Ultralyte Speedscope with a Lastec Video Recorder.

I defended the case on the following grounds

  • I was not speeding at the time, I drove in excess of 35 thousand miles a year in a limited area and was aware of my speed on the road in question.
  • The officer (A camera enforcement officer, not Police Officer) did not form a prior opinion before operating the device that I was speeding.
  • There were some anomolies in the video footage, I suggested the video proved my car was not in a position at the measured distance away from where the camera van was recorded to have been.


The third point was ruled inadmissable as I had not provided an expert witness.

Steven Edward Callaghan wrote a report on the alleged offence, who is an expert. I asked before attending court if he could give evidence orally. He did not attend, and his bundle of information was ruled inadmissable, both in use by the prosecution and by myself. This meant I could not use the mapping information to show my vehicle was not where the officer stated at the time of the alleged offence. I had sent mapping information myself to the CPS but was not allowed to use it as evidence by the court.

The Officer, Camera Enforcement Officer Brady of Merseyside Police was called by the prosecution to give evidence. He said he formed an opinion that I may have been speeding when the device was triggered.

I asked him about this, and he again confirmed, he did not form an opinion the vehicle was speeding, but may have been.

Camera Enforcement Officer Halliday gave evidence about the process of checking the film and sending notices. She was a fully certified and trained LTI 20.20 operator, I asked her when the correct time to operate the device was. She stated it was when an opinion had been formed that the vehicle was speeding.

The prosecutor introducing the case stated that the video evidence was not enough alone, and the court needed to bear in mind that was there only to confirm the prior opinion of the officer. The Magistrates in summing up stated that the conviction would be based on the video evidence, as it is assumed to be correct unless proven wrong, which I had not done.

I believed the burden of proof was on the prosecution, and that the two forms were neccesary. I was not allowed to refer to the ACPO guidelines on the use of the device, maps of the road etc. so was unable to challenge the video. The evidence of the officer was not that he believed I was speeding before the device was used.

So, where do I go from here, is the conviction sound?

£75 fine, £250 costs + victim surcharge + 3 points

Many thanks in advance for any advice/opinions!
S.E.C i believe is under investigatation at this present time for giving false evidance to secure prosecution. dry.gif again that probably why you didnt see him or the report on the day
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