In my Blog dated 14th August 2009 I reported a case of a motorcyclist charged with dangerous driving by North Wales police. This case has now concluded and, as it was one of my cases, I can tell you a little more about it.
My client was riding his motorcycle on a quiet country road in North Wales on a Sunday afternoon. My client admitted speeding at 100mph but the police chose instead to charge him with dangerous driving because he was speeding at 132mph. The police had used an LTI 20:20 laser device to measure his speed.
Dangerous driving is a much more serious offence than speeding and carries a risk of imprisonment. In fact the prosecution wanted to send his case to the Crown Court for trial as they believed he should receive longer than 6 months imprisonment if convicted! The prosecution also wanted to seize his motorbike under legislation designed for terrorists. This would entitle the police to sell the bike at auction or crush it.
The police claimed my client was ‘banged to rights’ because the whole incident was on video that shows that the road was full of cyclists, pedestrians and lots of other vehicles. The police also said that the alleged offence was witnessed by two police officers in an unmarked police car who followed my client for over 6 miles weaving past cars and cyclists at up to 132mph.
Many people in such circumstances would have pleaded guilty, believing they would be convicted if they went to a trial (and then have additional trial costs to pay). However, my client felt he had nothing to lose by going through with the trial. If convicted there was a chance he would go to prison. He would certainly receive a large fine and lose his licence for a lengthy period. As a result he would lose his job and, with no income, would lose his home.
The court, I am delighted to report, found my client not guilty. No conviction for dangerous driving and no conviction for speeding! You may be wondering how was this possible, especially when there was a video of the incident?
Through cross-examination of the police officers we could establish that they did not actually see my client driving dangerously because he was so far ahead (because of his speed). As for the video, you may not believe this, but the police eventually admitted it was actually recorded by a different officer in a different police car, on a different day! Obviously the video did not show my client either.
As for speeding, the prosecution were in breach of time limits and therefore could not present evidence for a speeding charge. Bizarrely, even though my client had always been willing to accept speeding (at 100mph), because of mistakes by the police and the prosecution he could not be charged with speeding!
Obviously my client was more than delighted with the outcome. Later that evening he told me on the phone that my telephone number was now stored as one of his favourites!
Moral of the storey; don’t just accept it, challenge it! To discuss any motoring offence please call Marcus for a free initial chat on 07810 804464 or email “email@example.com”. More information can be found at www.speedingsolicitor.co.uk