Case File 20
Michael Hatton, Cornwall
The alleged offence took place on 13 October 2006 and he was accused of driving on the A30 at a speed exceeding 50 miles per hour. Here is a short summary of the case:
The alleged offence was recorded by a Gatso camera, which was being powered by a portable generator.
The defendant replied to the request for driver information with a completed and signed witness statement, naming himself as the driver.
Mr Hatton was subsequently charged with two offences; failing to provide the name of the driver contrary to s 172 Road Traffic Act 1988 and speeding.
He applied for a Judicial Review of the policy to dual-charge in such circumstances. Although the Judicial Review was not granted, Mr Justice Collins gave a clear indication that, in his view, they had got themselves into an “absurd position” and he directed his Judgement should be published so it could be brought to the attention of the Chief Constable and the Magistrates' Court.
After receiving the High Court's Judgement, the CPS dropped the s 172 charge.
Mr Hatton then entered a plea of not guilty to the speeding charge, arguing a Gatso camera does not have Type Approval for use when powered by a portable generator. The CPS sought expert opinion on the matter.
The CPS went on to discontinue the speeding charge and Mr Hatton was awarded costs. The letter of discontinuance states that the reason for dropping the case was because “there is no longer enough evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction” but the reason given in court was the Crown’s expert witness was not available to attend court.
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