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geoffthechef
I helped my friend when he got a ticket in Scotland for doing 41 in a 30..i told him to go unsigned and we both looked on here.
He filled the form in and returned the form unsigned,
Today he has recieved a citation told appear in Edinburgh court at the end of of march charged with just the driving in a 30 at 41 .i have the evidence pack here with me and it says it went to his boss first then him.
it says that it was returned to the scammer partnership by the now accused who identified himself as the driver at the time (this is the unsigned one) any ideas where to go from here?

date of offence 12th sept 2011
court 26th march
I am Weasel
Am i correct in thinking that in Scotland, they need to bring you to court within 6 months of the alleged offence? Surely a court date of 26th march is outside this
Aretnap
Citation must be issued within 6 months and served "without undue delay". The actual court date can be later.

Possibilities are that
(1) they've failed to notice that the response is unsigned,
(2) they intend to establish the driver's identity on the basis of the employer's s172 response (arguing that it's admissible), the defendant's unsigned response (arguing that it's admissible) and/or photographic evidence from the camera (if it shows the driver) or
(3) that they're hoping your friend will blink first and plead guilty, and will drop the case pre-trial rather than argue it in court if he goes NG (this has certainly happened with s172 citations over unsigned responses)
geoffthechef
looks like he will have to go guilty as he can not afford to get up their as he has been laid off...what is the best damage limitation now?
Mayhem007
QUOTE (Aretnap @ Fri, 16 Mar 2012 - 12:54) *
Citation must be issued within 6 months and served "without undue delay". The actual court date can be later.


I thought in Scotland it was the defendant must appear before the sherrif within 6 months.
Pete D
Did he recieve a COFP which he then ignored. Pete D
Mayhem007
QUOTE (geoffthechef @ Fri, 16 Mar 2012 - 12:58) *
looks like he will have to go guilty as he can not afford to get up their as he has been laid off...what is the best damage limitation now?


If it is the singular charge of excessive speeding, then he may as well plead guilty by post. Probably best returning the summons stating that it is difficult for him to attend due to being made redundant and would like to enter a plea to guilty.

Ask the courts to consider a monthly payment of any imposed fines. I daresay this will happen automatically. A friend recently was fined £150 and 4 points for 106mph in Scotland and was ordered to pay £20 a month.
Aretnap
QUOTE (Mayhem007 @ Fri, 16 Mar 2012 - 12:01) *
QUOTE (Aretnap @ Fri, 16 Mar 2012 - 12:54) *
Citation must be issued within 6 months and served "without undue delay". The actual court date can be later.


I thought in Scotland it was the defendant must appear before the sherrif within 6 months.

Not my understanding - see here.

QUOTE
136 Time limit for certain offences.

(1)Proceedings under this Part of this Act in respect of any offence to which this section applies shall be commenced—
(a)within six months after the contravention occurred;
(b)in the case of a continuous contravention, within six months after the last date of such contravention,
and it shall be competent in a prosecution of a contravention mentioned in paragraph (b) above to include the entire period during which the contravention occurred.

(2)This section applies to any offence triable only summarily and consisting of the contravention of any enactment, unless the enactment fixes a different time limit.

(3)For the purposes of this section proceedings shall be deemed to be commenced on the date on which a warrant to apprehend or to cite the accused is granted, if the warrant is executed without undue delay.
Mayhem007
QUOTE (Pete D @ Fri, 16 Mar 2012 - 13:05) *
Did he recieve a COFP which he then ignored. Pete D


Good point. The OP's attachment appears to imply that a COFP was offered. However, if it was not offered, then this may be good mitigation for the OP's mate. Whether he will be requested to give evidence in court as to not receiving a COFP, is debateable.
geoffthechef
He did get he offer but thought that going unsigned you just ignore any future correspondence..Did he think wrong?

He did have the problem of working away for months on end all over the country laying floors and it was very very hard for post to catch him..(worth running with a mitigation?)
Aretnap
He was quite right to ignore the offer if he wanted to pursue the unsigned route, with all its risks and uncertainties. Had he accepted it, it would have effectively brought the matter to an end for 3 points and £60 - the same outcome as if he'd signed the form in the first place.

Had he not been offered a fixed penalty there would be an argument that the court should punish him at the level of the fixed penalty (3 points and £60) - certainly the English guidelines instruct the courts to do this if the FP was not offered or taken up for "reasons unconnected with the offence itself, such as administrative difficulties". I'm not sure how strong this argument would be: the court might take the view that his attempt to cheat the system made him the author of his own misfortune and so that he is not entitled to be treated in the same way as someone who was the victim of an administrative cock-up. But if he was offered a fixed penalty and chose not to take it up the question is academic anyway.
geoffthechef
so looks like they now know most people will just plead guilty by post rather than travel up,
so unsigned no longer works because they just ignore your lack of signature.
BaggieBoy
QUOTE (geoffthechef @ Fri, 16 Mar 2012 - 16:15) *
so unsigned no longer works because they just ignore your lack of signature.

Bit of a sweeping statement I feel, based on a sample size of 1!

There have been plenty of recent unsigned successes, my feeling this is just a cock-up and they didn't notice the S172 was unsigned. If it was me I would turn up at court and ask then to show evidence to who was driving.
geoffthechef
Just had the fine back from court..£60 plus 3 points.. £5 per week..not a bad result considering they could of gone for more..
Aretnap
Oh well, no worse off than if he'd signed the form in the first place, and he gets to pay by instalments as well. Not a bad outcome.
jimster
It seems that they have simply ignored or not noticed the fact that the s172 was unsigned.

You have not said if he challenged the speeding charge due to the lack of a signature (I doubt it), or just coughed up.

IMHO this is not a fatal set-back to going unsigned as there was no FtF charge, as there would be in England etc.
The Rookie
If he plead guilty then whether or not the scammers OR the court realised it was unsigned won't ever be known.

I guess if the alleged driver lives some way away, with no costs awarded they know they may as well summons as many will accept the fine as being cheaper than winning.

Simon
geoffthechef
He lives in chester (no work) could not afford to go up to Edinburgh...we will never know about the signature..

here is the mitigation i sent..

Your honours.

I am so sorry that I find myself writing this note to you.
I am a 48 yrs old male who was lucky enough to find some work for myself laying floors in marks and Spencer’s.

.This is how I found myself in your domain and as you can see I was over the speed limit. I wish you to note that I was unfamiliar with the area and thought it was a 40miles an hour limit…

You must be wondering why I did not just pay the offer of a fixed penalty.
Well I would of if I could of, as I was working away staying in guest houses for 2 or 3 nights at a time travelling all over the country and even into Germany so it was near impossible for mail to catch me up and my parents who are both very elderly would not know a court document if it hit them on the head. And did not tell me I had mail.

So I am asking for your up most leniencies in this matter as if I had paid the fixed penalty…

I have since been laid off from this job and even though it was working away I only got £45 per shift and because my parents are poor I have given most of what I had to them for just day to day living expenses…

I know you must fine me and give me points but I hope you see that I have not avoided this matter and hope you give me a little leeway and take into consideration that I only get £65 a week from the unemployment office which I give most to my struggling elderly parents who I live with and look after.

I am sure you get to see so many of these letters and heard all the excuses but I am really genuinely sorry for taking your time and daring to speed on your roads which is not a thing I am proud of.

When you do fine me can you set a rate per week that will be punishment but still comfortable for me to pay..

I am again saying sorry for my speeding and leave myself at the mercy of your honours..
Mr Rusty
LOL that's a great grovel! well done.
sgtdixie
QUOTE (geoffthechef @ Thu, 29 Mar 2012 - 13:20) *
He lives in chester (no work) could not afford to go up to Edinburgh...we will never know about the signature..

here is the mitigation i sent..

Your honours.

I am so sorry that I find myself writing this note to you.
I am a 48 yrs old male who was lucky enough to find some work for myself laying floors in marks and Spencer’s.

.This is how I found myself in your domain and as you can see I was over the speed limit. I wish you to note that I was unfamiliar with the area and thought it was a 40miles an hour limit…

You must be wondering why I did not just pay the offer of a fixed penalty.
Well I would of if I could of, as I was working away staying in guest houses for 2 or 3 nights at a time travelling all over the country and even into Germany so it was near impossible for mail to catch me up and my parents who are both very elderly would not know a court document if it hit them on the head. And did not tell me I had mail.

So I am asking for your up most leniencies in this matter as if I had paid the fixed penalty…

I have since been laid off from this job and even though it was working away I only got £45 per shift and because my parents are poor I have given most of what I had to them for just day to day living expenses…

I know you must fine me and give me points but I hope you see that I have not avoided this matter and hope you give me a little leeway and take into consideration that I only get £65 a week from the unemployment office which I give most to my struggling elderly parents who I live with and look after.

I am sure you get to see so many of these letters and heard all the excuses but I am really genuinely sorry for taking your time and daring to speed on your roads which is not a thing I am proud of.

When you do fine me can you set a rate per week that will be punishment but still comfortable for me to pay..

I am again saying sorry for my speeding and leave myself at the mercy of your honours..


Hardly going unsigned to write a full and frank confession, but a just result
geoffthechef
QUOTE (sgtdixie @ Thu, 29 Mar 2012 - 17:54) *
QUOTE (geoffthechef @ Thu, 29 Mar 2012 - 13:20) *
He lives in chester (no work) could not afford to go up to Edinburgh...we will never know about the signature..

here is the mitigation i sent..

Your honours.

I am so sorry that I find myself writing this note to you.
I am a 48 yrs old male who was lucky enough to find some work for myself laying floors in marks and Spencer’s.

.This is how I found myself in your domain and as you can see I was over the speed limit. I wish you to note that I was unfamiliar with the area and thought it was a 40miles an hour limit…

You must be wondering why I did not just pay the offer of a fixed penalty.
Well I would of if I could of, as I was working away staying in guest houses for 2 or 3 nights at a time travelling all over the country and even into Germany so it was near impossible for mail to catch me up and my parents who are both very elderly would not know a court document if it hit them on the head. And did not tell me I had mail.

So I am asking for your up most leniencies in this matter as if I had paid the fixed penalty…

I have since been laid off from this job and even though it was working away I only got £45 per shift and because my parents are poor I have given most of what I had to them for just day to day living expenses…

I know you must fine me and give me points but I hope you see that I have not avoided this matter and hope you give me a little leeway and take into consideration that I only get £65 a week from the unemployment office which I give most to my struggling elderly parents who I live with and look after.

I am sure you get to see so many of these letters and heard all the excuses but I am really genuinely sorry for taking your time and daring to speed on your roads which is not a thing I am proud of.

When you do fine me can you set a rate per week that will be punishment but still comfortable for me to pay..

I am again saying sorry for my speeding and leave myself at the mercy of your honours..


Hardly going unsigned to write a full and frank confession, but a just result


care to elaborate. or have you been a silly boy and skipped the whole post?
sgtdixie
I read the whole post. He went unsigned, presumably in the hope that if summonsed there was no evidence he was the driver. He was summonsed for speeding and subsequently pleaded guilty and admitted the offence.

IMHO if you are going to go unsigned it is in the expectation of just this scenario and then pleading NG, If not why not just pay the fine in the first place.

The bigger picture is that everyone who gets summonsed for speeding having gone unsigned who then pleads guilty encourages the PF to continue flawed prosecutions.
The Rookie
In this case the OP's situation changed, also different PF's/scammers treat it differently, we will have to try and understand what tactics each apply, but if they have seen this and/or talk to each other perhaps we can expect more citations for unsigned's
CuriousOrange
By the by now, but I see no mention in that attachment of the S172 response, signed or not.

I'm a bit hazy on the Scottish side of things, but I was fairly sure that it was established case law that the S172 response had to be signed to be evidence of the driver. No signature means no possibility of a challenged speeding prosecution succeeding.

The Fiscals might choose to adopt a new 'tactic' of summonsing the unsigned for speeding alone; however, I thought that for prosecutors to bring cases that they have no chance of winning, purely on the hope that the accused pleads guilty for convenience, was frowned on quite a bit by the courts. A few losses for them by those prepared to fight might see them warned off such methods, not to mention bring the whole unsigned issue to wider attention.

Aretnap
QUOTE (CuriousOrange @ Fri, 30 Mar 2012 - 09:33) *
I'm a bit hazy on the Scottish side of things, but I was fairly sure that it was established case law that the S172 response had to be signed to be evidence of the driver. No signature means no possibility of a challenged speeding prosecution succeeding.

Not quite. In Mawdesley and Yorke v DPP the High Court concluded that an unsigned s172 response is not admissible as evidence of the driver's identity under s12 of the RTOA, but is admissible as a confession under PACE as long as the court is satisfied that it was indeed written by the defendant. Dwight Yorke got off though because being a footballer he got his agent to complete the form for him. It led to a period when people would get their solicitors or spouses to complete their forms and send them in unsigned, until the Francis case opened the door to s172 convictions for unsigned responses.

Of course this is English case law. And PACE doesn't apply in Scotland, so it can't make an unsigned s172 admissible up there. Whether the Fiscals could find a similar provision in Scots law to support an argument that an unsigned s172 is admissible, I don't know.
geoffthechef
QUOTE (sgtdixie @ Thu, 29 Mar 2012 - 21:38) *
I read the whole post. He went unsigned, presumably in the hope that if summonsed there was no evidence he was the driver. He was summonsed for speeding and subsequently pleaded guilty and admitted the offence.

IMHO if you are going to go unsigned it is in the expectation of just this scenario and then pleading NG, If not why not just pay the fine in the first place.

The bigger picture is that everyone who gets summonsed for speeding having gone unsigned who then pleads guilty encourages the PF to continue flawed prosecutions.


No, he went as you and i know unsigned with the idea that along with the hundreds of others in the past that no legal action would commence having gone down that road with a time out.. paying some brief £500 to point out to a court it was unsigned was a non starter and will be for over 90% of the people going unsigned.Because the dangers of him himself appearing and then them getting him under oath where far too risky and personally costly.
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