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wlbsheff
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Hi, I'm new to this forum so appologies if this has been asked before. Anyway, a bit about me to put it into context - Im a 6 and a half stone male (21) who has a limp and slight disability (this is only relevent to the police part really).

 

Anyway,

 

Last December (09) I was stopped by the police for driving on what they said was the 'rim'. Now, first of all, I did not actually realise that my tyre was flat at all until I turned a corner, seconds before they stopped me when my steering went funny. (I had finished work 5 mins before, and a quick 'glance' at the car and tyres while getting in didn't reveal anything unusual - the tyres seemed fine.

 

Anyway, when I was stopped this frankley intimidating copper asked me if I knew I'd been stopped to which my reply was (politely) 'no officer, I felt my steering go funny, it might have been something to do with that, so I was trying to find a safe place to pull over andinvestigate' (bearing in mind, this was at 11pm at night in the centre of a red light district which is not very well lit and I felt vulnerable [i have to drive through it to get home]). His reply came 'well I can clearly see that you were wobbling about and it seems that you have a nail in the offside rear tire which is running on the rims.

 

I thanked him for this information and said I would call the AA out to get me home, but he placed me in the back of his car under caution and gave me a producer for 3 points and a £60 fine. After much 'paperwork' he asked me my address, to which I gave him both my term time and my perminant adress (stating that all corespondance go to my perminent one) and I said that I would be appealing the decision.

 

I also made a complaint about the officer in question to the police which resulted in him getting a reprimand - it seems that he has a history of being harsh and bulshy (according to the inspector). I produced my documents at the police station as requested within the timeframe and stated that I would like to contest.

 

Months passed, and I moved out of my term-time address on the 30th April 2010 having not heard anything, and so I assumed that was the end of it - it had been at the back of my mind for a while. Howver, after a bit of a hoo-ha with the Land-lord, I collected my make in the middle of june (after being told that the LL would forward any mail), and to my amazement, a court summons was in the post dated the 20th April (obviously it did not arrive until after I moved as I checked my post the day I moved out - in the precense of my LL). It had a court date of the 1st June (which I had missed), and separate doccuments stating that I had been convicted, and now needed to pay £275 in fines and return my license to DVLA to be endorsed. A letter was sent from the DVLA to my perminent address asking for the license to be returned (so obviously they did HAVE my perminent address).

 

I rang the court who told me that if I wish to appeal to put it in writing which I did, clearly stating again my perminent address (copy of letter below). I also rang DVLA courts section to say that I was appealing it who said that they would put the request for my DL etc on hold until a further outcome was provided. The court wrote me a letter saying that I was requested at court on 19th July 2010 for my case to be reconidered to be opened by the magistrates.

 

I was just wondering whether the letter below (setting out my reasons in peoples view was actually a strong-ish case). I'm now also unemplyed, and so ideally I would like the case thrown out, failing that the points dropped and the fine decreased - or as a last resort the fine jus decreased to reflect this.

 

Secondly, I have recieved a court summons to my previous term time address, a different one) saying that I was requested in court the next day (20th July) due to failing to notify the DVLA or change of address and unpaid fines. Now I don't know what exactly this is regarding as I was only told this through text message by my ex ex landlord on friday (just gone, 15th July) and I have not seen the papers. My guess is that as it is concerning the same car (now traded into a garage) the DVLA have only realised this because the police have stopped me?? (That car was registered to my previous previous term time address, my DL to my perminent). Am I right in thinking that the fine for this is not astronomical and will only be about £100?

 

In my defence, the reason I did not notify the DVLA of my not having the car any more is that the garage I sold it to took my v5 and completed the relevent bits and aledgedly sent this off to the DVLA on my behalf (although now I am assuming that this is not the case). This, having been the first car I have dealt with entirely on my own (my previous cars have been registered to other family members) I thought was common practise.

 

Any defence here? or not? I believe that somewhere on this forum someone posted that in law the DVLA has not got a leg to stand on if you say you posted it or something and they have not received it? Failing that, anyway of settling out of court and paying up (if not too astronimcal) before it is heard?

 

 

Thanks in advance - any advice would be appreciated.

 

x

 

Letter as follows (edited for security reasons)

 

To Whom It May Concern,

I am writing to you to ask for the above case to be reconsidered for the following reasons:

First, may I point out that the Summons that was sent on the 20th April 2010 to my term-time address (INSERT ADDRESS HERE) did not arrive in my mail box until after 3rd May, the day when I returned to my permanent address (ADDRESS)? It has not arrived at all at my permanent address (as my mother can confirm) so we must suppose it was not sent there at all. At the time of the offence PC X requested my address and, being a student, I gave him both my term-time and home addresses, clearly stating that the latter address was my permanent one (and this was reiterated during the visits I made to the Police Station while making a complaint against the police in relation to this incident). However it seems that, although the Police and DVLA have both my addresses on file, the police only passed to the CPS my term-time address, though the DVLA have sent me a letter with regard to this case (after the hearing) to both my term-time and my permanent address. If I had received the Summons at my permanent address, I would have most certainly replied and attended court (my intention from the outset) to put the mitigating circumstances which are set out below in the third paragraph.

Please note also that the original producer I received from PC X set out the offence with a code (DE15) that does not actually exist – I checked this on government databases, with the Court Office, and with my insurers - and that the Summons with its associated material was sent almost six months after the original incident: frankly, I had assumed, because of these factors (and the complaint I had made) that the case against me was not going to proceed and so had stopped even ‘looking out for’ the Summons in every post. It was not in the forefront of my mind when I left my term-time address, though I did return to Sheffield and so I could attempt to retrieve my post on a number of occasions in May (as I was expecting other important post) but was unable to retrieve it until last week because of a lack of cooperation from the letting agents.

Secondly, I would like to suggest that PC X's witness statement is not entirely accurate – this is perhaps neither ‘here nor there’, but my clear recollection is that he cautioned me, after alighting on his own from his vehicle, in the presence of myself and him alone, after asking me if I knew why he had stopped me - to which I replied ‘No I don’t, but I felt my steering go funny as I turned the corner – it might be something to do with that; I was looking for a safe place to stop and pull over to investigate’. I did not remain silent as he suggests in his statement. To add to these inaccuracies, he omits from his statement a section of conversation we had. He enquired as to where I had travelled from, to which my response was that I had just finished work (at Y [5 MINS AWAY). He then proceeded to ask me if I had done a visual check on my car before I got in it, my reply being: ‘I had a quick glance, yeah, everything seemed OK’. This is not what he suggests in his statement where he claims I said ‘Yes, I know it’s flat. I only knew it was flat five minutes earlier when I left work’. On the contrary, I didn’t know it was flat until PC Duffy informed me at the scene. Once he had informed me, I thanked him for informing me and then said I would get it changed tomorrow (i.e. as it was around 11pm at night, and now having realised the problem – I was going to get the AA out to get me home). At this point I didn’t realise the extent of the problem, although I realised something was up and so I was looking for a safe place to stop. I was particularly anxious not to get ‘stuck’ where I had stopped as I felt vulnerable in that location late at night and on my own (since I am slightly built and have a physical disability I do feel particularly vulnerable in such circumstances). May I state in corroboration of my version of the conversation with PC X that I should never have left WORK'S car park had I realised I had a flat tyre, but would have stayed there in comparative safety and with the protection of CCTV (as I have done before when needing assistance with my car after work) and called out the AA?

Further conversation took place, including his saying that I had been travelling at 40mph up the hill. Because of my disability I have to drive an automatic car, which meant that I didn’t have the option to change gear to control the vehicle when the steering felt a bit odd – and ideally I would have changed down through the gears immediately rather than wait for the computer to do it for me. I say this because this may be part of the reason for the ‘rumbling’ (as PC X puts it in his statement): not because I was driving at 40mph. Indeed, this was not the case – I was trying to get the car to travel below 30mph not 40mph. In fact, PC X's statement does not really hold together here. If I had, as he suggests, been driving on ‘the rim’ (his description of the state of the tyre and wheel) at 40mph, this would have meant I had hardly had any control over the car (especially as the steering would have become ‘heavy’ (I am told by those who know about punctures) and I do not have full strength in my hands and arms because I have hemiplegia) – yet I was able to turn the corner in a controlled manner and pull over to stop in a controlled manner, suggesting that the tyre was not by any means completely flat and I still had control over the car. This view of the tyre’s actual state is given further credence by the remarks of the AA Patrolman who later attended to me. He remarked that, although the tyre was by now noticeably flat, it still had some air in it.

When PC X handed me his notebook - towards the end of the whole conversation (as opposed to immediately after I had made the alleged remarks, as he claims), I was instructed to sign each page and I duly did so, fearing that if I made any more points or attempted to object it would make matters worse. I felt that it would make matters worse because PC X was very abrupt with me from the outset, and I felt completely overwhelmed, intimidated and actually very frightened, and very anxious not to be left alone in this situation (which is what did happen until the AA man finally appeared). I later put my concerns about my treatment to the police as a formal complaint, which was handled by Inspector Z. He suggested (in the presence of my father and me) that PC X was a rather ‘overzealous officer’, a ‘wannabe’ Traffic Officer, who adopts a very ‘direct’ approach. He did also say that perhaps the way that he handled the situation could have been a little more ‘considerate’.

I would like here to point out again that the offence code that was written on my producer, ‘DE15’, does not appear to be in use according to insurance companies, does not seem to appear on government databases, and was not recognised when I rang the Court Office, so I was not at all clear either then or subsequently with exactly what offence I was being charged.

I appreciate that I was technically ‘guilty’ of driving with an under-inflated tyre (though I am not sure that this is ‘natural justice’), but hope that the points I have made above might be considered in mitigation; and this is why I asked for the case to be heard in court rather than accepting the summary penalty, and why I had every intention of coming to court if I was summonsed.

Finally, in regard to my financial situation: I have just completed my degree course and have left Sheffield to live with a family member while I look for a job (I had to give up my part-time job at WORK as I could not afford to go on living in Sheffield). I am now an unemployed ex-student with no income, and finding my search for employment long and frustrating. I should certainly have made this clear in court - another reason why, if I had received the Summons at my permanent address, I would have responded to take the opportunity to make my points in person.

I hope the above grounds are enough to persuade you to reopen the case: the combined fine and costs and victim support and points (which will increase my motor insurance premium – and, with my disability and in my intended career in hospitality, I really need my own vehicle) make up a penalty that I shall have much hardship in bearing.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Sincerely,

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Letter as follows (edited for security reasons)

 

To Whom It May Concern,

I am writing to you to ask for the above case to be reconsidered for the following reasons:

First, may I point out that the Summons that was sent on the 20th April 2010 to my term-time address (INSERT ADDRESS HERE) did not arrive in my mail box until after 3rd May, the day when I returned to my permanent address (ADDRESS)? It has not arrived at all at my permanent address (as my mother can confirm) so we must suppose it was not sent there at all. At the time of the offence PC X requested my address and, being a student, I gave him both my term-time and home addresses, clearly stating that the latter address was my permanent one (and this was reiterated during the visits I made to the Police Station while making a complaint against the police in relation to this incident). However it seems that, although the Police and DVLA have both my addresses on file, the police only passed to the CPS my term-time address, though the DVLA have sent me a letter with regard to this case (after the hearing) to both my term-time and my permanent address.

If I had received the Summons at my permanent address, I would have most certainly replied and attended court (my intention from the outset) to put the mitigating circumstances which are set out below in the third paragraph.

Please note also that the original producer I received from PC X set out the offence with a code (DE15) that does not actually exist – I checked this on government databases, with the Court Office, and with my insurers - and that the Summons with its associated material was sent almost six months after the original incident: frankly, I had assumed, because of these factors (and the complaint I had made) that the case against me was not going to proceed and so had stopped even ‘looking out for’ the Summons in every post. It was not in the forefront of my mind when I left my term-time address, though I did return to Sheffield and so I could attempt to retrieve my post on a number of occasions in May (as I was expecting other important post) but was unable to retrieve it until last week because of a lack of cooperation from the letting agents.

Secondly, I would like to suggest that PC X's witness statement is not entirely accurate – this is perhaps neither ‘here nor there’, but my clear recollection is that he cautioned me, after alighting on his own from his vehicle, in the presence of myself and him alone, after asking me if I knew why he had stopped me - to which I replied ‘No I don’t, but I felt my steering go funny as I turned the corner – it might be something to do with that; I was looking for a safe place to stop and pull over to investigate’. I did not remain silent as he suggests in his statement. To add to these inaccuracies, he omits from his statement a section of conversation we had. He enquired as to where I had travelled from, to which my response was that I had just finished work (at Y [5 MINS AWAY). He then proceeded to ask me if I had done a visual check on my car before I got in it, my reply being: ‘I had a quick glance, yeah, everything seemed OK’. This is not what he suggests in his statement where he claims I said ‘Yes, I know it’s flat. I only knew it was flat five minutes earlier when I left work’. On the contrary, I didn’t know it was flat until PC X informed me at the scene.

Once he had informed me, I thanked him for informing me and then said I would get it changed tomorrow (i.e. as it was around 11pm at night, and now having realised the problem – I was going to get the AA out to get me home). At this point I didn’t realise the extent of the problem, although I realised something was up and so I was looking for a safe place to stop. I was particularly anxious not to get ‘stuck’ where I had stopped as I felt vulnerable in that location late at night and on my own (since I am slightly built and have a physical disability I do feel particularly vulnerable in such circumstances). May I state in corroboration of my version of the conversation with PC X that I should never have left WORK'S car park had I realised I had a flat tyre, but would have stayed there in comparative safety and with the protection of CCTV (as I have done before when needing assistance with my car after work) and called out the AA?

 

Further conversation took place, including his saying that I had been travelling at 40mph up the hill. Because of my disability I have to drive an automatic car, which meant that I didn’t have the option to change gear to control the vehicle when the steering felt a bit odd – and ideally I would have changed down through the gears immediately rather than wait for the computer to do it for me. I say this because this may be part of the reason for the ‘rumbling’ (as PC X puts it in his statement): not because I was driving at 40mph. Indeed, this was not the case – I was trying to get the car to travel below 30mph not 40mph.

In fact, PC X's statement does not really hold together here. If I had, as he suggests, been driving on ‘the rim’ (his description of the state of the tyre and wheel) at 40mph, this would have meant I had hardly had any control over the car (especially as the steering would have become ‘heavy’ (I am told by those who know about punctures) and I do not have full strength in my hands and arms because I have hemiplegia) – yet I was able to turn the corner in a controlled manner and pull over to stop in a controlled manner, suggesting that the tyre was not by any means completely flat and I still had control over the car. This view of the tyre’s actual state is given further credence by the remarks of the AA Patrolman who later attended to me. He remarked that, although the tyre was by now noticeably flat, it still had some air in it.

 

When PC X handed me his notebook - towards the end of the whole conversation (as opposed to immediately after I had made the alleged remarks, as he claims), I was instructed to sign each page and I duly did so, fearing that if I made any more points or attempted to object it would make matters worse. I felt that it would make matters worse because PC X was very abrupt with me from the outset, and I felt completely overwhelmed, intimidated and actually very frightened, and very anxious not to be left alone in this situation (which is what did happen until the AA man finally appeared). I later put my concerns about my treatment to the police as a formal complaint, which was handled by Inspector Z. He suggested (in the presence of my father and me) that PC X was a rather ‘overzealous officer’, a ‘wannabe’ Traffic Officer, who adopts a very ‘direct’ approach. He did also say that perhaps the way that he handled the situation could have been a little more ‘considerate’.

 

I would like here to point out again that the offence code that was written on my producer, ‘DE15’, does not appear to be in use according to insurance companies, does not seem to appear on government databases, and was not recognised when I rang the Court Office, so I was not at all clear either then or subsequently with exactly what offence I was being charged.

 

I appreciate that I was technically ‘guilty’ of driving with an under-inflated tyre (though I am not sure that this is ‘natural justice’), but hope that the points I have made above might be considered in mitigation; and this is why I asked for the case to be heard in court rather than accepting the summary penalty, and why I had every intention of coming to court if I was summonsed.

Finally, in regard to my financial situation: I have just completed my degree course and have left Sheffield to live with a family member while I look for a job (I had to give up my part-time job at WORK as I could not afford to go on living in Sheffield). I am now an unemployed ex-student with no income, and finding my search for employment long and frustrating. I should certainly have made this clear in court - another reason why, if I had received the Summons at my permanent address, I would have responded to take the opportunity to make my points in person.

 

I hope the above grounds are enough to persuade you to reopen the case: the combined fine and costs and victim support and points (which will increase my motor insurance premium – and, with my disability and in my intended career in hospitality, I really need my own vehicle) make up a penalty that I shall have much hardship in bearing.

 

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

 

Sincerely,

 

wlbsheff,

 

I have taken the liberty of adding some paragraph breakers and also to remove some of the computer graphics (not sure if that's the right term but I mean the bits at the start and end of every paragraph) from your letter to make it easier for those more knowledgeable people to be able to read your letter.

 

Sorry I can't help with the question you are asking,

 

Feebee_71

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Don't send that letter!

 

To appeal the decision in the case, you need to submit the correct paperwork. Presumably the case was heard at Magistrates' Court, so you will need to appeal to the Magistrates' Court, but the appeal will be heard by the Crown Court.

 

The Court office will be able to tell you which forms you need, but they will not give legal advice. You should probably seek professional advice (if you can't afford a solicitor, check to see if your insurance includes a legal helpline, or go to CAB).

 

It seems to me (but I reiterate that you should take advice), that the grounds for your appeal are that the summons was sent to the wrong address, even though you gave the correct address for correspondence to the police at the time. Because an appeal is only likely to be allowed if there is a defence which may have some prospect of success, you should think about a brief summary of why you think you have a defence.

 

The stuff above is circumloquacious and difficult to follow. In setting out your reason for appeal, it may help if you think about how you would present the main points in bullet-point form. You will then have an opportunity to enlarge upon the points either in a witness statement or at the hearing. Stick to the facts, and leave out anything not directly relevant to the events of that evening, such as what you are doing now or your financial situation.

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