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Jimbo34
NIP Details and Circumstances- Failure to comply with indication given by no entry sign lawfully placed on or near a road, namely Hampstead Road NW1
What is the name of the Constabulary? - Metropolitan Police
Date of the offence: - December 2010
Date of the NIP: - 14 days after offence
Date you received the NIP: - 15 days after the offence
Location of offence (exact location as it appears on the NIP: important): - As stated above
Was the NIP addressed to you? - Yes
Was the NIP sent by first class post, second class or recorded delivery? - Not known
If your are not the Registered Keeper, what is your relationship to the vehicle? -
How many current points do you have? - 0
Provide a description of events (if you know what happened) telling us as much about the incident as possible - some things that may seem trivial to you may be important, so don't leave anything out. Please do not post personal details for obvious reasons.


I drove onto Hampstead Road from the bottom of Mornington Crescent around midnight against the advice given by a directional sign (white arrow blue background) and towards oncoming traffic coming from Lidlington Place. A police constable was travelling towards me, pulled me over and charged me with failing to comply with a no entry sign that he did not witness me drive through and could not possibly have done so considering that it is placed on the junction between Harrington square and Hampstead Road about 300 metres away from place in which he saw me driving against the flow of traffic. His statement at the time clearly states the point at which he witnessed me (the point at which Lidlington Place and Hampstead road join)

My court appearance is in 2 days, I believe I have a strong case but a few doubts have been gnawing at me (will they be able to charge me with something other than the offence ie dangerous driving?).

Am I on a sound footing with this?


Note: The reason for the lateness of this hearing is due to the fact that the clerk of the court entered my postal Not Guilty plea as Guilty in my absence and I received a 3 point endorsement (TS50 Code) and a £230 bill for court costs and fine. It's taken this long to re organise all of this.


Many thanks in advance.
The Rookie
They can only try you for the offences listed on the summons.

To prove you contravened a no entry he will give his evidence and you'll give yours unless you can cast reasonable doubt on his assertion you passed it (he doesn't have to actually see it happen) then you'll be convicted. You could have any number of possible means for doing this but don't be tempted to lie - as an example a friend escaped this very charge as he picked up a parked car, did a U-turn in a road he didn't know was one way and got stopped, but he genuinely had not passed a no entry and had his friend who'd parked the car as a witness.

Simon
Logician
Are you the registered keeper of the vehicle? If so have you recently acquired the vehicle or changed address? I am asking because on the face of it the NIP appears to be out of time.

The officer probably thought that there was a No Entry sign where you turned the wrong way round the island, but there isn't, at any rate on Streetview. You seem to have a good case.
Jimbo34
QUOTE (The Rookie @ Tue, 23 Aug 2011 - 14:38) *
They can only try you for the offences listed on the summons.

To prove you contravened a no entry he will give his evidence and you'll give yours unless you can cast reasonable doubt on his assertion you passed it (he doesn't have to actually see it happen) then you'll be convicted. You could have any number of possible means for doing this but don't be tempted to lie - as an example a friend escaped this very charge as he picked up a parked car, did a U-turn in a road he didn't know was one way and got stopped, but he genuinely had not passed a no entry and had his friend who'd parked the car as a witness.

Simon



Yeah, I most definitely did not pass the sign but alas no witnesses other than myself. I have photographic evidence to prove that there are ways of accessing that road without passing the no entry sign in question (there are 2 ways of doing this), this will be my main defence.
Glacier2
QUOTE
I am asking because on the face of it the NIP appears to be out of time.

QUOTE
A police constable was travelling towards me, pulled me over and charged me with failing to comply with a no entry sign

Verbal NIP given at scene me thinks.
Logician
Yes, agrred.
Glacier2
QUOTE (Jimbo34 @ Tue, 23 Aug 2011 - 16:42) *
QUOTE (The Rookie @ Tue, 23 Aug 2011 - 14:38) *
They can only try you for the offences listed on the summons.

To prove you contravened a no entry he will give his evidence and you'll give yours unless you can cast reasonable doubt on his assertion you passed it (he doesn't have to actually see it happen) then you'll be convicted. You could have any number of possible means for doing this but don't be tempted to lie - as an example a friend escaped this very charge as he picked up a parked car, did a U-turn in a road he didn't know was one way and got stopped, but he genuinely had not passed a no entry and had his friend who'd parked the car as a witness.

Simon



Yeah, I most definitely did not pass the sign but alas no witnesses other than myself. I have photographic evidence to prove that there are ways of accessing that road without passing the no entry sign in question (there are 2 ways of doing this), this will be my main defence.

That should be good enough for reasonable doubt.
Jimbo34
Yeah I feel like I'm on a strong enough footing with this one. Luckily the officer involved didn't charge me with dangerous driving as I would've probably been bang to rights dry.gif
Logician
Looking on Streetview if I understand you correctly, you came out of Mornington Crescent, the turning on the right where the cyclist has stopped, turned left, then immediately turned right against the proper flow of traffic, to get on the left of the barrier and go South down Hampstead Road. It may be that the officer saw you do that and assumed there were No Entry signs on the left of the picture here, before the pedestrian crossing. If there are no such signs, you cannot have disobeyed them!
Jimbo34
QUOTE (Logician @ Tue, 23 Aug 2011 - 14:58) *
Looking on Streetview if I understand you correctly, you came out of Mornington Crescent, the turning on the right where the cyclist has stopped, turned left, then immediately turned right against the proper flow of traffic, to get on the left of the barrier and go South down Hampstead Road. It may be that the officer saw you do that and assumed there were No Entry signs on the left of the picture here, before the pedestrian crossing. If there are no such signs, you cannot have disobeyed them!



That is exactly what happened. The officer made an assumption that I'd driven almost 300 metres against the flow of traffic after passing the no entry sign placed at Harrington Square. Seemed odd to me at the time as I clearly stated that I came from Mornington Crescent when he asked me huh.gif
Jimbo34
Well the verdict was given against me huh.gif . Seems like the word of an officer even if he is making guesses carries more weight than Joe Blow no matter how compelling the argument for reasonable doubt is. angry.gif
Glacier2
Appeal it to the crown court. Mags are useless for this sort of thing.
Jimbo34
QUOTE (Glacier2 @ Thu, 25 Aug 2011 - 15:45) *
Appeal it to the crown court. Mags are useless for this sort of thing.



Not sure If I can be bothered appealing it.
The Rookie
Your choice, but as you are not guilty and can prove what you claimed happened is possible it should be an easy win in front of someone who knows the law!

Did they give any reasoning, like they didn't believe you went the way you went, didn't believe there were no no entry signs there or what? Did you take some proof (like photo's) of what was possible, did you cross examine the officer?

Simon
Jimbo34
QUOTE (The Rookie @ Thu, 25 Aug 2011 - 15:58) *
Your choice, but as you are not guilty and can prove what you claimed happened is possible it should be an easy win in front of someone who knows the law!

Did they give any reasoning, like they didn't believe you went the way you went, didn't believe there were no no entry signs there or what? Did you take some proof (like photo's) of what was possible, did you cross examine the officer?

Simon



They gave no reasoning upon sentence but their reasoning can only be that they believe the officer's guess work.


I actually took almost all the evidence that was used. The officer did a poor sketch and I had 2 photographs a printed map of the area. I cross examined him and got him to admit that he did not witness me commit the alleged offence, I showed there was reasonable doubt etc etc etc and they STILL chose to believe him.


Funny thing is that the fine for a not guilty plea was actually less than the one they gave me when they entered my plea as guilty in error previously biggrin.gif
Aretnap
QUOTE (Jimbo34 @ Thu, 25 Aug 2011 - 16:31) *
I cross examined him and got him to admit that he did not witness me commit the alleged offence... and they STILL chose to believe him.

So what was there to believe? BangHead.gif

Possibly they're just dim and assume that in law going the wrong way up a one way street/carriageway = failing to comply with a no entry sign. From the Streetview link you DID commit the offence of failing to comply with a blue directional arrow sign, but that's a slightly different offence, and one which does not (from memory) carry penalty points.
henrik777
http://www.bailii.org/cgi-bin/markup.cgi?d.../2007/3193.html

Sometimes in the lower courts you are up against incredible bias/stupidity.
Jimbo34
QUOTE (Aretnap @ Thu, 25 Aug 2011 - 16:38) *
QUOTE (Jimbo34 @ Thu, 25 Aug 2011 - 16:31) *
I cross examined him and got him to admit that he did not witness me commit the alleged offence... and they STILL chose to believe him.

So what was there to believe? BangHead.gif

Possibly they're just dim and assume that in law going the wrong way up a one way street/carriageway = failing to comply with a no entry sign. From the Streetview link you DID commit the offence of failing to comply with a blue directional arrow sign, but that's a slightly different offence, and one which does not (from memory) carry penalty points.



The officer insisted that the only way I could've got to that point was by committing the offence he charged me with. When I showed him that he was wrong, he carried on insisting that this is what I had done. His solicitor basically said that I was being economical with the truth and that when I stated "Mornington Crescent" on the night when asked "Where did you come from" I had been economical with the truth and had driven all the way around the one way system before going through the sign in question.

That BangHead.gif smiley is indeed apt. I felt like questioning the dim witted Magistrates further after they'd read the verdict but obviously that kind of behaviour just isn't allowed.
Glacier2
Hence why you appeal.
jdh
Crown Court appeal or the other one (case stated???)?
Jimbo34
If I lose my appeal will my fine and costs be increased at all?
BB Law
I suspect the Mags have either mistakenly believed that they were entitled to convict you on the basis you went the wrong way down a one way street and contravened a blue directional sign in doing so.

or

They convicted you because they thought you were guilty of an offence and it didn't matter if this was that exact one.

or

They have decided the case was proved on an officer's assumption/belief.

I would be inclined to -

1. instruct a solicitor who can ring up the prosecutor and casually inquire as to what basis they believed you had been convicted on
2. request a copy of the clerk's notes, they'll probably refuse but you never know
3. depending on 1 and 2, consider a case stated appeal, on the basis it would be interesting to see upon what basis you had been convicted
4. depending on 1 and 2, consider a crown court appeal
5. depending on 1 and 2, just forget about it and put it down to experience

At the risk of being accused of touting, I do straight forward Crown Court appeals against conviction for £600 all in fixed fee.

You might even find that the CPS give in before it gets to the appeal but its your time, effort, worry and money so only you can decide how important justice is to you.

BB Law

Jimbo

Just seen your last post - technically you could be given a different sentence but in reality it is very unlikely to happen in this case.

If your appeal was dismissed (you lost) then you would almost certainly be ordered to contribute towards the prosecution's costs involved in defending your appeal, usually between £150 and £500 depending on how nice or otherwise the prosecutor is!
sgtdixie
BB LAW is correct. In my view they have convicted you of the wrong offence on the facts given. The only thing you have to really decide is to appeal on the simple principle you were innocent of the offence summonsed (which appears the case) and should win before a judge, or let it drop and walk away. Only you know how important the point of principle is. If it was me I would appeal.
Jimbo34
Regarding the conviction on the wrong offence thing, the clerk of the court told them before they left to deliberate that they could only convict me of the offence I was charged with. It took them 15 minutes of discussion to arrive at their decision which tells me they didn't think it was an easy black and white case.


I think I'll leave this one alone and not appeal.
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