Friday, July 27

From the Dock

The Hartlepool Mail 27 July 08 -click to enlarge
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Good morning Mr Troy, I am Ian Bradsaw and I shall be prosecuting you today. Thus was the direct yet charming greeting from the CPS Barrister as I arrived at the Hartlepool Magistrate's Court Number 3 last Tuesday.
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The Court's equally charming Usher, who was on his last day at work before his (he said) well earned retirment, told us both that the 'listers' had cleared the court no. 3 caseload (apparently referring as I did in my correspondence to the Justices of the European Court of Human Rights has that affect).

The Case against me for allegedly Speeding early one dark morning last November was dropped before the hearing started once I had explained my defence strategy to the Barrister (all to do with the calibration of the GATSO camera).

The CPS did however, in order extract their 'pound of flesh' prosecute me for not filling in the Notice of Intended Prosecution Form (NIP) despite the fact that I had written to the Chief Constable giving all the information that was needed on the form (together of course with my opinions of the compulsion to fill in the damn form).

After a lengthy exchange lasting some 30 minutes between myself and the Barrister the Magistrates retired only to return to find me guilty and fined me £60 with another £60 costs.
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The leader in today's edition of the Hartlepool Mail (left), missed the point.

However my somewhat robust retort - as is to be expected - to the Editor's letters column re- focussed the issue and will, I very much hope, attract reaction from the good and fair people of Hartlepool:
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The Editor's Comment last Friday's Mail on page 8 somewhat misses the point that was well reported on page 5 regarding my £60 fine (plus costs) for not filling in a Notice of Intended Prosecution. The moral of the story, I argue, is that a stand has to be made against the erosion of peoples rights which are being increasingly eroded by bureaucracy without good reason.

As reported I did provide the Police with the information that they required but not on the form that they sent me. The reason for my protest was that I think that it is unreasonable that motorists that allegedly break the speed limit by a few MPH get less protection in law than that of those accused of very much more serious crimes. I accept that I was obliged by law to supply the information which is why I wrote to the Chief Constable supplying the information required but I did not fill in the police form as a protest, which I maintained in court was lawful.

When I asked the court for a form on which to make an appeal against my conviction last week I am told that there is not one; I have to write a letter. Yet it is an offence to write a letter to the Chief Constable rather that supply the information on a form. What a funny country we now live in.
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Peter Troy -Sedgefield.
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1 comment:

June said...

Glad to see that the speeding fine was dropped!
But you will now have to fight against compulsory form filling! Oh dear more work!
Care to fill in my tax return for me?