A tale... here we go again. by raistlin

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Had a chap in front of us this morning for trial on a speeding charge. 36mph in a 30 limit.

I think he was on a personal crusade. The name pepipoo came up on several occasions.

Some of you may recall that I despair when defendants adopt the ravings of some of the fringe lunatic groups as "case law". They inevitably end up worse off than if they had invested in a brief session with a solicitor.

We genuinely feel concerned when gullible people argue an indefensible case and we do try to persuade them to have a re-think before embarking upon an irrevocable course. It might seem funny to watch and sometimes, at least superficially, it is. However, in the final analysis these defendants are putting their finances and possibly their livelihoods on the line on the advice of egotistical barrack room lawyers who sit behind their computer keyboards espousing, on occasion, some bizarre arguments.

Nick Freeman is a very sharp and very experienced lawyer who is well able to exploit some genuine loop-holes and sloppy CPS or Police work but he has done it for years, has a great degree of skill and knowledge and costs a fortune to employ. The armchair philosophers on the internet have no such abilities.

Anyway, back to today's tale.

The defendant was supremely confident in Court it must be admitted but did look faintly ridiculous strutting around with his thumbs in his lapels and addressing me as "M'Lud".

Before the trial began I asked him if he wouldn't mind outlining his defence and I was firmly put in my place, being told that I was employing the "oldest trick in the book" to disadvantage him by "revealing his hand" to the prosecution. I must admit to wondering how he could conduct a defence without doing so but let it pass.

As the trial progressed it became apparent that he didn't in fact, have a defence. All he did was argue ridiculous and crass points with all the prosecution witnesses he had insisted should be present, ranging from Police officers, forensics officers, an expert witness to a member of the public whose evidence was so tenuously linked to the case that she asked why she was actually wasting her time. The Bench were of the same view.

Anyway, the defendant conducted what he called his defence, which consisted of nothing more than a reprise of his earlier attacks on the prosecution case to the point where I had no choice but to stop him before he said something he might truly regret. One just doesn't call a Police officer a "f***ing lying c***" in Court nor tell an expert witness that she "doesn't even know what day it is".

He was found guilty. There was overwhelming evidence against him and as I said earlier, he raised no factual defence whatsoever. By this stage the Bench had run out of sympathy, especially when he said, having been found guilty, "I suppose you're going to hit me with a ridiculous fine now just because I had the nerve to argue my case?"

We fined him £75, endorsed his licence with three points, in line with our sentencing guidelines and his level of income, and awarded prosecution costs... of £3225.

Please take it from somebody with a fair bit of experience ;) If you feel aggrieved at a motoring charge, invest in a 30 minute interview with a solicitor. Reliance on internet "experts" could be costly.

A further thought on the likes of pepipoo et.al. - If they HAD ever come up with a sure-fire defence perhaps it would have made national headlines and put defence solicitors out of business by now? ;)

Cogito ergo sum... maybe?

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Posted 28 Oct 2014, 20:58 #1 

What, no description of his face when you awarded the prosecution costs :) But there again I presume he viewed it as the establishment crushing the common man.

That apart Mrs Lincoln, did you enjoy the play


Posted 29 Oct 2014, 13:38 #2