Case File 1

Mr. H., Hampshire

It took ages for the CPS to release the police statement to Mr.H., saying that in Hampshire they do not do this for speeding offences.

The police statement embellished the facts. The preamble alleged that he had been on the dual carriageway at a point before he entered it, and the CPS focused on this preamble to his detriment. He also feels he was not dealt with professionally by the clerk of the court, in that he had questions which the clerk answered whereas he should have pointed him to the duty solicitor, or if he could not found one assisted him in an adjournment. These discussions took place with the CPS representative in earshot; Mr.H. didn't know who this person was at the time. None of these facts could be brought before the Crown Court when Mr.H. went through the expense of an appeal.

The Clerk of the Court also prevented Mr.H. from disclosing previous convictions, something which could have had relevance with regard to the sentence. The bench were surprised that they had not been told; the solicitor and barrister that he subsequently engaged for the appeal against sentence stated that they would have told the bench that he had 7 points already. He feels the magistrates would not have imposed as many as 5 penalty points without the embellishment in the police statement.

Mr.H. thinks that a good solicitor could have argued that as he was pleading guilty to the offence of 91 mph on an empty dual carriageway at 0615hrs, the preamble was not relevant. Although he had prepared his mitigation against a ban, this was not well argued.

Three years on, this experience has left Mr.H. feeling very jaded and bitter towards the CPS and the police.

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