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 Post subject: Francis Case Reports
PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2004 17:41 
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Scotsman:
http://news.scotsman.com/latest.cfm?id=2656961

Driver Loses 'Speeding Form' Appeal

By Cathy Gordon, PA News


A retired company director who wants to end the use of speed cameras today lost a challenge to his conviction for failing to identify the driver of his Jaguar after it was caught doing 41mph in a 30mph zone.

Two judges in the High Court in London dismissed an appeal by Idris Francis, 64, who had failed to sign his reply to a notice served on him as registered keeper of a Jaguar Sovereign V12 saloon after it was caught on camera on March 11, 2003, on the A325 in Hampshire.

Mr Francis, a vintage car owner, of West Meon, near Winchester, Hampshire, was fined £60 with £364 costs and given three penalty points on his licence by Aldershot magistrates in October last year.

Lord Justice Kennedy and Mr Justice Mackay ? who will give their reasons for rejecting the appeal at a later date ? heard that on March 19, 2003, a notice of intended prosecution with a reply form was sent to Mr Francis.

On May 1 the reply form was received by the Safety Camera Unit. It contained Mr Francis?s name, address and date of birth and the author of the form had also included the driver number of Mr Francis?s driving licence and dated the form, but it had not been signed,

His counsel, Mark Laprell, arguing today that the conviction should be quashed, said that magistrates ?erred in concluding that the requirement that the particulars be signed constitutes part of the information being provided by the keeper of the vehicle?.

He said: ?A signature forms no part of the statutory information which the Chief Officer of Police is entitled to request.?

Mr Laprell, who said the issue in the case was one which was causing ?some consternation up and down the country?, involved a point of general public importance which ?someone had to bring to this court to clarify?.

His understanding was that thousands of other cases throughout the country had been awaiting the outcome of Mr Francis?s case.

After dismissal of the appeal, Mr Francis, who faces a costs bill of about £8,000, said he was ?disappointed?.

A decision on whether to attempt to take the case further to the House of Lords would be made once the reasons for today?s decision were known.

Mr Francis said the case had not been about the £60 fine or penalty points, adding: ?It is about a speed camera system which over the past 10 years has caused in excess of 5,000 lives ...?

One of the reasons for fatalities was that drivers were looking at their speedometers instead of concentrating on the road.

He said: ?I want to get speed cameras off the roads.?

During the hearing, Christopher Parker, counsel for the Chief Constable, told the judges: ?This case hinges not so much on the construction of the Act (Road Traffic Act 1988), but on the question of whether it is reasonable for a Chief Constable to require a form to be signed when requiring information about a driver.

?He does need to know the identity of the person returning the form whether it is the driver or any other person.

?In addition the Chief Constable can quite properly require that the form should be signed, knowing that if it is signed by the driver it can subsequently be used in evidence.?

Mr Francis was previously convicted of a motoring offence by magistrates at Guildford, Surrey, and immediately pledged to take his case to the European Court of Human Rights.

He was convicted of failing to supply information about who was driving his £60,000 1938 vintage Alvis when it was recorded, by a speed camera, doing 47mph in a 30mph zone ? an offence under Section 172 of the Road Traffic Act 1988.

He was fined £750 and ordered to pay £250 costs, and given three penalty points on his licence.

Mr Francis?s lawyer had argued in court on that occasion that being forced to identify the driver would contravene Mr Francis?s right to silence and his right to a fair trial under the European Convention on Human Rights
=============================

BBC:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/hamp ... 516612.stm

Speeding 'loophole' case rejected

A man convicted for speeding has lost his High Court fight to try to exploit an apparent legal loophole.

Idris Francis was challenging his speeding conviction - saying as he had not signed the speeding notice it was not acceptable as evidence in court.

The appeal centred on a belief that an unsigned form should not be accepted as evidence in court, but there is no legislation forcing the accused to sign it.

His barrister Mark Laprell told the court: "The issue in this case is causing some consternation up and down the country."

Mr Francis, a retired company director, was convicted after failing to sign his reply to a notice served on him as registered keeper of a Jaguar caught speeding on 11 March, 2003, on the A325 in Hampshire.

The vintage car owner, of West Meon, near Winchester, was fined £60 with £364 costs and given three penalty points on his licence for failing to identify the driver.

During the hearing, Christopher Parker, counsel for the chief constable, told the judges: "This case hinges on the question of whether it is reasonable for a chief constable to require a form to be signed when requiring information about a driver.

"He does need to know the identity of the person returning the form whether it is the driver or any other person.

"In addition the chief constable can quite properly require that the form should be signed, knowing that if it is signed by the driver it can subsequently be used in evidence."

After the appeal was dismissed, Mr Francis, who now faces a legal bill of around £8,000, said he was "disappointed".

His lawyer claimed several thousand more cases around the country were awaiting the outcome of Mr Francis's case.

Mr Francis has previously pledged to take his conviction for a motoring offence by magistrates at Guildford, Surrey, to the European Court of Human Rights.
======================================

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The Safe Speed campaign demands a return to intelligent road safety


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2004 22:54 
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Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 01:10
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Hi Paul, my bad. The 364 pounds costs, where are they for? and where is the 8000 pounds bill for?

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