Speeding Dumfries A74 Not Guilty After Trial
Our client was accused of travelling at 96mph in a 70mph limit on the A74(M) twixt Gretna Services and Ecclefechan. He denied the allegation and even with a clean driving licence elected to defend the charge.
Speeding cases in Dumfries are difficult to challenge as the Crown are particularly adept at prosecuting them and the police are very able at telling the Court whatever is necessary in order to secure a conviction.
In this case, the Crown produced the same pro-forma statements where everything looked great on paper. Curiously in this case there were a couple of glaring errors. In fact, it appeared to us that the statements had been written by one officer and copied and pasted by the other (complete with spelling errors).
This was a case that was presented to the Court as an attack on the credibility and reliability of the officers. The laws of evidence don't allow you to compare and contrast statements for the purpose of demonstrating that they have been copied and are therefore unreliable. In any event, it is what a witness says in the witness box that the Court is to rely upon when considering whether or not the Crown have proven their case beyond reasonable doubt.
The first officer was reduced to claiming that he had made: "a couple of typos" in his statement. My favourite typo was where the officer meant to write: Junction 21 Kirkpatrick-Fleming and instead wrote: Junction 19, Ecclefechan. That, it was submitted, stretched the meaning of the word typo and also the officer's credibility to the point of breaking. The second officer gave an explanation that was entirely different and stated that they may have been using a different device and that was the source of the error. He used the word maybe an astonishing 17 times in his explanation to the Court.
No evidence was led on behalf of the defence and the Court was invited to acquit owing to an absence of credibility and reliability of the Crown witnesses. The Court agreed with our submissions and found our client NOT GUILTY of the charge.
This case was successfully argued by our Mr Simpson on 18th May 2018 at Dumfries JP Court.
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