Police laboratory subject to ransom claim

Another case demonstrating the opportunities to challenge the integrity of evidential specimens. This time Eurofins who work on thousands of cases for the police each year have had weaknesses in their data security systems exposed.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2019/07/05/uks-largest-police-forensics-lab-eurofins-paid-ransom-hackers/

 

 

Police disclosure failings highlighted by Government select committee

Article below published by Law Society Gazette 20/07/18

Culture and leadership to blame for criminal evidence disclosure failures, say MPs

Failures by police and prosecution authorities to disclose evidence which led to miscarriages of justice must be addressed through a shift in culture so that disclosure comes to be seen as a core justice duty, and not an administrative ‘add on’, MPs said today.

In a thorough and hard-hitting report, the Justice Select Committee raised concerns about the lack of leadership in tackling what it called ‘an issue of national importance’. Reiterating concerns raised by the Law Society during its inquiry into disclosure failures, the committee acknowledged that the failures are symptomatic of a criminal justice system under significant strain.

MPs cited the evidence from defence practitioners about the lack of remuneration for reviewing unused material and the impact of changes to the Litigators’ Graduated Fee Scheme (LGFS) in reducing payment for reviewing pages of prosecution evidence. The cuts to the LGFS are the subject of a judicial review brought by the Law Society heard at the High Court this week.

Law Society president Christina Blacklaws said: “Disclosure is fundamental to a fair trial – the very foundation of our system of criminal justice.

“Solicitors are at the heart of that system, defending, prosecuting, and upholding the rule of law. We are pleased the committee highlighted concerns about criminal legal aid, and the cuts in resources available to prosecutors as well as the police.

“We welcome the committee’s message to the government urging it to consider whether funding across the system is sufficient to ensure a good disclosure regime – one that keeps pace with modern technology.

“The committee is right to draw attention to the cost of delayed and collapsed trails resulting from disclosure errors which simply add to the strain on already tight resources.

“The extent of the problem with disclosure failings has been laid bare. Confidence in the justice system is at stake and we hope the committee’s call for clear leadership and for police and prosecution staff to be given the right resources, training and technology are heeded.”

About the Law Society

The Law Society is the independent professional body that works globally to support and represent solicitors, promoting the highest professional standards, the public interest and the rule of law.

 

Data Protection Policy

Data Protection and Privacy Policy

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to National Motoring Lawyers privacy notice.

National Motoring Lawyers respects your privacy and is committed to protecting your personal data. This privacy notice will inform you as to how we look after your personal data when you visit our website (regardless of where you visit it from) and tell you about your privacy rights and how the law protects you.

This privacy notice deals with the specific areas set out below. Please use the glossary below to understand the meaning of some of the terms used in this privacy notice:

  1. IMPORTANT INFORMATION AND WHO WE ARE
  2. THE DATA WE COLLECT ABOUT YOU
  3. HOW IS YOUR PERSONAL DATA COLLECTED
  4. HOW WE USE YOUR PERSONAL DATA
  5. DISCLOSURES OF YOUR PERSONAL DATA
  6. INTERNATIONAL TRANSFERS
  7. DATA SECURITY
  8. DATA RETENTION
  9. YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS
  10. GLOSSARY
  11. COOKIE POLICY

1. IMPORTANT INFORMATION AND WHO WE ARE

PURPOSE OF THIS PRIVACY NOTICE

This privacy notice aims to give you information on how National Motoring Lawyers collects and processes your personal data through your use of this website.

This website is not intended for children and we do not knowingly collect data relating to children.

It is important that you read this privacy notice together with any other privacy notice or fair processing notice we may provide on specific occasions when we are collecting or processing personal data about you so that you are fully aware of how and why we are using your data. This privacy notice supplements the other notices and is not intended to override them.

CONTROLLER

National Motoring Lawyers is the controller and responsible for your personal data (collectively referred to as “National Motoring Lawyers “, “we”, “us”, or “our” in this privacy notice.

We have appointed a data protection officer (DPR) who is responsible for overseeing questions in relation to this privacy notice. If you have any questions about this privacy notice, including any requests to exercise your legal rights, please contact the DPO using the details set out below.

CONTACT DETAILS

Our full details are:

Full name of legal entity: National Motoring Lawyers

Name and title of DPO: Gary Roberts, Principal

Email address: mail@national-motoring-lawyers.com

Telephone number: 03300220845

You have the right to make a complaint at any time to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), the UK supervisory authority for data protection issues (www.ico.org.uk). We would, however, appreciate the chance to deal with your concerns before you approach the ICO, so please contact us in the first instance.

CHANGES TO THE PRIVACY NOTICE AND YOUR DUTY TO INFORM US OF CHANGES

The data protection law in the UK will change on 25th May 2018.

It is important that the personal data we hold about you is accurate and current. Please keep us informed if your personal data changes during your relationship with us.

THIRD-PARTY LINKS

This website may include links to third-party websites, plug-ins and applications. Clicking on those links or enabling those connections may allow third parties to collect or share data about you. We do not control these third-party websites and are not responsible for their privacy statements. When you leave our website, we encourage you to read the privacy notice of every website you visit.

2. THE DATA WE COLLECT ABOUT YOU

Personal data, or personal information, means any information about an individual from which that person can be identified. It does not include data where the identity has been removed.

Through your use of this website, we may collect, use, store and transfer different kinds of personal data about you which we have grouped together as follows:

Technical Data includes internet protocol (IP) address, your login data, browser type and version, time zone setting and location, browser plug-in types and versions, operating system and platform and other technology on the devices you use to access this website.

Usage Data includes information about how you use our website.

We also collect, use and share Aggregated Data such as statistical or demographic data for any purpose. Aggregated Data may be derived from your personal data but is not considered personal data in law as this data does not directly or indirectly reveal your identity. For example, we may aggregate your Usage Data to calculate the percentage of users accessing a specific website feature. However, if we combine or connect Aggregated Data with your personal data so that it can directly or indirectly identify you, we treat the combined data as personal data which will be used in accordance with this privacy notice.

We do not collect any Special Categories of Personal Data about you (this includes details about your race or ethnicity, religious or philosophical beliefs, sex life, sexual orientation, political opinions, trade union membership, information about your health and genetic and biometric data). Nor do we collect any information about criminal convictions and offences.

IF YOU FAIL TO PROVIDE PERSONAL DATA

Where we need to collect personal data by law, or under the terms of a contract we have with you and you fail to provide that data when requested, we may not be able to perform the contract we have or are trying to enter into with you (for example, to provide you with goods or services). In this case, we may have to cancel a product or service you have with us but we will notify you if this is the case at the time.

3. HOW IS YOUR PERSONAL DATA COLLECTED

We use different methods to collect data from and about you including through:

Automated technologies or interactions. As you interact with our website, we may automatically collect Technical Data about your equipment, browsing actions and patterns. We collect this personal data by using cookies, server logs and other similar technologies. We may also receive Technical Data about you if you visit other websites employing our cookies. Please see our cookie policy below for further details

Third parties or publicly available sources. We may receive Technical Data from analytics providers such as Google based outside the EU.

Usage Data includes information about how you use our website.

4. HOW WE USE YOUR PERSONAL DATA

We will only use your personal data when the law allows us to. Most commonly, we will use your data (a) where it is necessary for our legitimate interests (or those of a third party) and your interests and fundamental rights do not override those interests, and (b) where we need to comply with a legal or regulatory obligation.

The types of lawful basis that we will rely on to process your personal data are set out below.

Generally we do not rely on consent as a legal basis for processing your personal data other than in relation to sending third party direct marketing communications to you via email or text message. You have the right to withdraw consent to marketing at any time by contacting us.

PURPOSES FOR WHICH WE WILL USE YOUR PERSONAL DATA

At National Motoring Lawyers, we are committed to protecting your privacy. Set out below is an explanation of how we use information about visitors to this site.

  1. We may use your Technical Data to administer and protect our website (including troubleshooting, data analysis, testing, system maintenance, support, reporting and hosting of data. Such use would be necessary for our legitimate interests (for running our business, provision of administration and IT services, to prevent fraud and in the context of a business reorganisation exercise), and to comply with a legal obligation.
  2. We may use your Usage Data and Technical Data to deliver relevant website content to you and measure or understand the effectiveness of the content. Such use would be necessary for our legitimate interests (to study how customers use our services, to develop them, to grow our business and to inform market strategy).
  3. We may use your Usage Data and Technical Data to use data analytics to improve our website, services, marketing, customer relationships and experiences. Such use would be necessary for our legitimate interests (to define types of customers for our services, to keep our website updated and relevant, to develop our business and to inform our marketing strategy).

THIRD-PARTY MARKETING

We will get your express opt-in consent before we share your personal data with any third-party company for marketing purposes. If you give us your express opt-in consent, you can ask us or third parties to stop sending you marketing messages at any time by contacting us.

COOKIES

You can set your browser to refuse all or some browser cookies, or to alert you when websites set or access cookies. If you disable or refuse cookies, please note that some parts of this website may become inaccessible or not function properly. For more information about cookies we use, please see our cookie policy below.

CHANGE OF PURPOSE

We will only use your personal data for the purposes for which we collected it, unless we reasonably consider that we need to use it for another reason and that reason is compatible with the original purpose. If you wish to get an explanation as to how the processing for the new purpose is compatible with the original purpose, please contact us.

If we need to use your personal data for an unrelated purpose, we will notify you and we will explain the legal basis which allows us to do so.

Please note that we may process your personal data without your knowledge or consent, in compliance with the above rules, where this is required or permitted by law.

5. DISCLOSURES OF YOUR PERSONAL DATA

We may have to share your personal data with the parties set out below for the purposes set out at paragraph 4 above:

  1. External Third Parties as set out in the glossary.
  2. Third Parties to whom we may choose to sell, transfer, or merge parts of our business or our assets. Alternatively, we may seek to acquire other businesses or merge with them. If a change happens to our business, then the new owners may use your personal data in the same way as set out in this privacy notice.

We require all third parties to respect the security of your personal data and to treat it in accordance with the law. We do not allow our third-party service providers to use your personal data for their own purposes and only permit them to process your personal data for specified purposes and in accordance with our instructions.

6. INTERNATIONAL TRANSFERS

We do not transfer your personal data outside the European Economic Area (EEA).

7. DATA SECURITY

We have put in place appropriate security measures to prevent your personal data from being accidentally lost, used or accessed in an unauthorised way, altered or disclosed. In addition, we limit access to your personal data to those employees, agents, contractors and other third parties who have a business and need to know. They will only process your personal data on our instructions and they are subject to a duty of confidentiality.

We have put in place procedures to deal with any suspected personal data breach and will notify you and any applicable regulator of a breach where we are legally required to do so.

8. DATA RETENTION

HOW LONG WILL YOU USE MY PERSONAL DATA FOR?

We will only retain your personal data for as long as necessary to fulfil the purposes we collected it for, including for the purposes of satisfying any legal, accounting, or reporting requirements.

To determine the appropriate retention period for personal data, we consider the amount, nature, and sensitivity of the personal data, the potential risk of harm from unauthorised use or disclosure of your personal data, the purposes for which we process your personal data and whether we can achieve those purposes through other means, and the applicable legal requirements.

9. YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS

Under certain circumstances, you have rights under the data protection laws in relation to your personal data. Your rights are listed below, and more detail can be found in the glossary below:

  • Request access to your personal data.
  • Request correction of your personal data.
  • Request erasure of your personal data.
  • Object to processing of your personal data.
  • Request restriction of processing your personal data.
  • Request transfer of your personal data.
  • Right to withdraw consent.

If you wish to exercise any of the rights set out above, please contact us.

NO FEE USUALLY REQUIRED

You will not have to pay a fee to access your personal data (or to exercise any of the other rights). However, we may charge a reasonable fee if your request is clearly unfounded, repetitive or excessive. Alternatively, we may refuse to comply with your request in these circumstances.

Our standard terms allow us to exercise a lien as to costs. This means if there are outstanding fees at the end of the retainer we may withhold our file of papers containing your personal data until our fees have been paid.

WHAT WE MAY NEED FROM YOU

We may need to request specific information from you to help us confirm your identity and ensure your right to access your personal data (or to exercise any of your other rights). This is a security measure to ensure that personal data is not disclosed to any person who has no right to receive it. We may also contact you to ask you for further information in relation to your request to speed up our response.

TIME LIMIT TO RESPOND

We will respond to the subject access request within one month.

10. GLOSSARY

LAWFUL BASIS

Legitimate Interest means the interest of our business in conducting and managing our business to enable us to give you the best service and the best and most secure experience. We make sure we consider and balance any potential impact on you (both positive and negative) and your rights before we process your personal data for our legitimate interests. We do not use your personal data for activities where our interests are overridden by the impact on you (unless we have your consent or are otherwise required or permitted by law). You can obtain further information about how we assess our legitimate interests against any particular impact on you in respect of specific activities by contacting us.

Comply with a legal or regulatory obligation means processing your personal data where it is necessary for compliance with a legal or regulatory obligation that we are subject to.

EXTERNAL THIRD PARTIES

  • Service providers acting as processors based in the UK who provide IT and system administration services.
  • Professional advisers acting as processors including lawyers, bankers, auditors and insurers based in the UK who provide consultancy, banking, legal, insurance and accounting services.
  • HM Revenue and Customs, regulators and other authorities acting as processors based in the UK who require reporting of processing activities in certain circumstances.

YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS

Request access to your personal data (commonly known as a “data subject access request”). This enables you to receive a copy of the personal data we hold about you and to check that we are lawfully processing it.

Request correction of the data that we hold about you. This enables you to have any incomplete or inaccurate data we hold about you corrected, though we may need to verify the accuracy of the new data you provide to us.

Request erasure of your personal data. This enables you to ask us to delete or remove personal data where there is no good reason for us continuing to process it. You also have the right to ask us to delete or remove your personal data where you have successfully exercised your right to object to processing (see below), where we may have processed your information unlawfully or where we are required to erase your personal data to comply with local law. Note, however, that we may not always be able to comply with your request of erasure for specific legal reasons which will be notified to you, if applicable, at the time of your request.

Object to processing of your personal data where we are relying on a legitimate interest (or those of a third party) and there is something about your particular situation which makes you want to object to processing on this ground as you feel it impacts on your fundamental rights and freedoms. You also have the right to object where we are processing your personal data for direct marketing purposes. In some cases, we may demonstrate that we have compelling legitimate grounds to process your information which override your rights and freedoms.

Request restriction of processing of your personal data. This enables you to ask us to suspend the processing of your personal data in the following scenarios: (a) if you want us to establish the data’s accuracy; (b) where our use of the data is unlawful but you do not want us to erase it; (c) where you need us to hold the data even if we no longer require it as you need to establish, exercise or defend legal claims; or (d) you have objected to our use of your data but we need to verify whether we have overriding legitimate grounds to use it.

Request the transfer of your personal data to you or to a third party. We will provide to you, or a third party you have chosen, your personal data in a structured, commonly used, machine-readable format. note that this right only applies to automated information which you initially provided consent for us to use or where we used information to perform a contract with you.

Withdraw consent at any time where we are relying on consent to process your personal data. However, this will not affect the lawfulness of any processing carried out before you withdraw your consent. If you withdraw your consent, we may not be able to provide certain services to you. We will advise you if this is the case at the time you withdraw your consent.

11. COOKIE POLICY

Like many websites, the National Motoring Lawyers website uses cookies – small text files, typically of letters and numbers – to capture limited information about the site’s users. The information is transferred by the website to the cookie file of the browser on the hard drive of the user’s computer.

This site uses Google Analytics cookies. These allow us to measure the number of visitors, to see how visitors navigate the site and to see which resources they access. This helps us to develop new content and to improve the way the website works. These cookies do not enable us to identify individual users. Google provides further information about Analytics.

To prevent Google Analytics cookies being set, you may install the Google Analytics Opt-Out Browser Add-On.

For general information about cookies please visit www.allaboutcookies.org.

 

Newsletter 4 – Sample Cases 2018/19

 

 

We have set out below a selection of cases successfully defended in 2018/19 in which all clients avoided a mandatory driving ban and most were awarded legal fees to be reimbursed.

 

North Tyneside MC – R v RJ

One of our reviewing lawyers Laura Heywood persuaded the prosecution to drop the case before trial after prosecution failed to serve initial disclosure of unused material. Client was challenging the legality of the breath test procedure as the police failed to arrange an interpreter.

 

Willesden MC – R v HF

Laura Heywood again persuaded the prosecution to drop the case due to the same failure by the prosecution to serve initial disclosure of unused material. Client had a medical reason for failing to provide a breath specimen due to his injuries after a road traffic accident.

 

Birmingham MC – R v CE

Jay Lemosa, in-house lawyer on the gold service persuaded the Court not to allow an adjournment to the prosecution after the police witness failed to attend Court due to having to attend his wife’s hospital appointment. Client was challenging the legality of the blood sample which was taken without good medical reasons.

 

Camberwell Green MC – R v MA

Laura Heywood persuaded the prosecution to drop the case before trial after prosecution failed to serve CCTV. Client was challenging the reliability of the machine as insufficient alcohol was consumed to exceed the prescribed limit.

 

Bromley MC – R v SW

Jay Lemosa persuaded the prosecution at the first hearing to offer no evidence after it was noted that the two breath specimens had a higher than permitted 15% breath difference.

 

Bromley MC – R v IK

One of our in-house lawyers on the platinum service Richard Berman (with assistance of Sandra Cooper reviewing lawyer) persuaded the prosecution to offer no evidence after prosecution failed to serve unused material and CCTV. Client had been cuffed and strip searched without justification

 

Croydon MC – R v EA

One of our reviewing lawyers Sandra Cooper successfully persuaded prosecution in writing to discontinue after serving legal submissions and supporting caselaw. Medical reason was raised by client for not giving blood, but the issue was not referred to a doctor.

 

Worthing MC – R v JM

John Oliver, a lawyer on the firms’ silver service (with instructions from Sandra Cooper) successfully persuaded the Court to refuse an application by the prosecution to adjourn after the prosecution expert failed to attend Court. The client was challenging the level of cannabis in his blood which was 2.1 with the specified limit being 2.

 

Bristol MC – R v SR

Philip Lucas gold panel lawyer (with instructions from Sandra Cooper) successfully defended a charge after non-disclosure of unused material and CCTV. Client could not recall statutory warning and put prosecution to strict proof of driving.

 

Birmingham MC – R v MH

David Houldcroft in house lawyer on the platinum service (with instructions from Sandra Cooper) invited prosecution to offer no evidence after they were refused an adjournment following non-disclosure of CCTV. Client maintained reasonable excuse to failing to provide on medical grounds.

 

Margate MC – R v OV

Laura Heywood (reviewing lawyer) persuaded the prosecution to discontinue in writing after non-service of CCTV and custody record. Client disputed the breath test procedure and could not recall the officer completing the MG DD/A.

 

Wimbledon MC – R v ZB

Sandra Cooper (reviewing lawyer) persuaded the prosecution to discontinue the case before trial after prosecution failed to serve initial disclosure of unused material and failed to comply with directions of the Court. Client was a Hungarian national who was not provided with an interpreter for the breath specimen procedure.


Coventry MC – R v LS

David Houldcroft, with instructions from Sandra Cooper (reviewing lawyer) successfully argued that there were special reasons not to impose a mandatory 12 month driving ban. Instead, the Court disqualified the client for just one month. The client had driven out of fear for his personal safety after being assaulted by males outside a nightclub.

 

Birmingham MC – R v MC

David Houldcroft persuaded the prosecution to discontinue the case at the first hearing after the police failed to make the initial evidence available. The client was challenging the breath test procedure as he could not recall the MG DD/A being completed and was putting the prosecution to strict proof as to evidence of driving.

 

Ipswich MC – R v JB

Jay Lemosa, with instructions from Sandra Cooper (reviewing lawyer) successfully opposed an application to adjourn the trial after the police office was unable to attend Court due to being on a training day. The client was challenging machine reliability and the operator had failed to sign the MG DD/A breath test booklet.

 

Newcastle Upon Tyne MC – R v KH

Sandra Cooper (reviewing lawyer) persuaded the prosecution to discontinue the case before trial. The client had been charged with failing to provide a breath specimen but the printout showed a mouth alcohol error message which demonstrated that there was an issue with the machine. Ian Hudson, in-house lawyer set the groundwork in place by clearly setting out all the issues at the first hearing.

 

Wigan MC – R v OG

Tom Longstaff, bronze level  lawyer (with instructions from Sandra Cooper) successfully opposed an attempt by the prosecution to adjourn the case after the police officer failed to attend the trial due to illness. The client was putting the prosecution to strict proof as to evidence of driving.

 

City of London MC – R v EA

In a case involving Sandra Cooper (reviewing lawyer), charges were discontinued before trial after written representations were made that it was not in the public interest to prosecute. The police used a taser gun without justification and had requested a blood sample when there were medical reasons for not doing so on a failing to provide charge.

 

Reading Crown Court – R v AF

Philip Lucas (with instructions from Laura Heywood) successfully defended a charge after the prosecution failed to serve legible copies of the performance history and maintenance records required by the defence expert to comment on machine reliability. No evidence offered after the prosecution unsuccessfully applied to adjourn the case.

 

Willesden MC – R v CS

James Brookes in house lawyer on the platinum service persuaded the prosecution to discontinue the case after the first hearing. The police had taken a breath sample unlawfully where there were medical reasons for moving to blood or urine. The client suffered from asthma and started to feel dizzy after attempting to blow into the breath test device and had to lie down.

 

Camberwell Green MC – R v JL

Sandra Cooper (reviewing lawyer) made written representations that there been inadequate disclosure of CCTV. The copy provided had sound with no images. As a result of pursuing these disclosure failings the prosecution discontinued the case. The client was challenging the breath test procedure.

 

Derby MC – R v JH

David Houldcroft (with instructions from reviewing lawyer Laura Heywood) invited the prosecution to adjourn the case due to non-service of the CCTV. After successfully opposing the adjournment he persuaded the prosecution to offer no evidence. The client was challenging the breath test procedure.

 

Horsham MC – R v CH

George Symes bronze level lawyer (with instructions from reviewing lawyer Sandra Cooper) persuaded the prosecution to discontinue the case at trial after late service of the CCTV and failing to provide unused material. The client was challenging the reliability of the breath test device.

 

Cheltenham MC – R v RJ

Philip Lucas  (with instructions from reviewing lawyer Sandra Cooper) successfully opposed an application by the prosecution to adjourn the trial after they failed to provide a consent form for a blood sample with a number of outstanding problems with continuity of the blood sample. The client disputed that he was fit to consent to a blood sample at the hospital.

 

North Somerset MC – R v JD

Neil Whittle, bronze level lawyer (with instructions from reviewing lawyer Sandra Cooper) successfully persuaded the prosecution to offer no evidence after the main prosecution witness failed to attend the trial. The client denied driving the vehicle.

 

Cannock MC – R v LB

David Houldcroft (with instructions from reviewing lawyer Sandra Cooper) successfully defended the case after persuading the prosecution to offer no evidence once they failed to serve the interview tape. Initially the prosecution were going to substitute a new charge of drunk in charge on the date of trial until David threatened to seek wasted costs and argue abuse of process. The client was putting the prosecution to strict proof as to the identity of the driver.

 

Margate MC – R v PM

Jay Lemosa (with instructions from reviewing lawyer Laura Heywood) successfully opposed an application by the prosecution to adjourn the trial after the prosecution failed to serve a witness statement from the officer in the case and the operator of the breath test machine failed to attend Court. As a result, the prosecution offered no evidence. The client was challenging the breath test procedure and could not recall the officer completing the MG DD/A breath test booklet.

 

Chesterfield Magistrates – R v DJ

David Houldcroft (with instructions from Laura Heywood) invited the prosecution to offer no evidence after they were refused an adjournment following non-disclosure of CCTV. The client was disputing the urine sample procedure.

 

Uxbridge MC – R v BM

Sherbanu Suliman (in house lawyer) with instructions from Sandra Cooper successfully opposed an adjournment request from the prosecution who were in breach of disclosure duties. The police had not responded to a request for CCTV and had failed to serve initial disclosure of unused material.  No evidence was offered after the adjournment was refused. The issue in the case was the breath test procedure and machine reliability.

 

Bromley MC – R v AA

Sandra Cooper (reviewing lawyer) made written representations to the CPS that there had been not disclosure of unused material, CCTV, body worn footage and pocket note book. As a result of pursuing these disclosure failings the prosecution discontinued the case. The client was challenging the reliability of the breath test device.

 

Willesden MC – R v MD

Sandra Cooper (reviewing lawyer) requested CCTV and dash cam to assess whether there was sufficient evidence of the vehicle being driven. This material undermined the assertion by the officer that the car had been driven. The prosecution were persuaded to discontinue the case before the trial.

 

Bristol MC – R v FS

Sandra Cooper (reviewing lawyer) with assistance from Giles Pengelly (bronze level lawyer) successfully persuaded the prosecution to discontinue charges before the trial after serving a skeleton argument setting out a number of issues with the breath test procedure including the need to issue a statutory warning on a second occasion after an abortive breath test.  The client was awarded costs.

 

Basingstoke MC – R v DT

James Brookes (in house lawyer) with instructions from Sandra Cooper (reviewing lawyer) successfully applied to exclude the CCTV and MG DD/A breath test booklet at trial as the breath test sample had been taken some 9 minutes after the statutory warning had been given. The client was challenging the breath test procedure.

 

St Albans Crown Court – R v YM

Jay Lemosa (in house lawyer) with instructions from Sandra Cooper (reviewing lawyer) successfully appealed against a conviction for being drunk in charge. An expert report confirmed the Defendant would have been below the prescribed limit at the time he intended to drive.

 

Romford MC – R v JM

Laura Heywood (reviewing lawyer) successfully persuaded the prosecution to discontinue charges before the trial after the police failed to comply with disclosure requests including unused material, CCTV, analytical pack, details of laboratory accreditation, the last 3 rounds of proficiency testing and HORT5 medical consent form. Client was challenging the continuity of evidence in respect of a blood sample.

 

Kings Lynn MC – R v CG

Jay Lemosa (in house lawyer) with instructions from Sandra Cooper (reviewing lawyer) successfully applied to dismiss a drink driving charge on a blood sample after they failed to serve an SFR/1 report and various documentary evidence. The Defendant was testing continuity (the chain of custody of the blood sample).

 

Oxford MC – R v TC

Laura Heywood (reviewing lawyer) persuaded the prosecution to discontinue the charges before the trial after the prosecution failed to provide material to allow the defence to check continuity on a blood sample including the analytical pack, details of laboratory accreditation, and the last 3 rounds of proficiency testing.

 

Staines MC – R v MD

Sandra Cooper (reviewing lawyer) persuaded the prosecution to discontinue the case before trial due to failure to comply with disclosure requests including unused material and CCTV which was necessary allow a defence expert to comment on whether the client’s medical condition caused him to stumble. The client was challenging the reliability of the evidential breath test device.

 

Basildon MC – R v MM

Jay Lemosa (with instructions from Sandra Cooper) successfully opposed an adjournment request from the prosecution after police officers had failed to attend Court. The client was challenging the reliability of the evidential breath test device.

 

Croydon MC – R v RN

Sandra Cooper (reviewing lawyer) persuaded the prosecution to discontinue the case against the client after it was noted that three samples were taken (by law only two samples can be taken) and there was more than the maximum 15% breath difference between the samples. The client was challenging the reliability of the breath test device.

 

Wimbledon MC – R v ML

Laura Heywood (reviewing lawyer) persuaded the prosecution to discontinue the charges after they failed to serve any evidence in the case including unused material. The client was pursuing a defence based on post driving alcohol consumption.

 

Brighton MC – R v VP

Sandra Cooper (reviewing lawyer) persuaded the prosecution to discontinue the case before trial after serving an expert report commenting on the reliability of the evidential breath test device. The breath specimens were unreliable due to a mouth alcohol error message that appeared to be incorrect as too much time had elapsed since the last drink for the client to have brought up alcohol from her stomach.

 

Yeovil MC – R v MS

Sandra Cooper (reviewing lawyer) persuaded the prosecution to discontinue the case after persuading them there was no realistic prospect of a conviction. The client was testing the prosecution case on whether they could prove the identity of the driver. Also the police had given the Defendant an assurance there would be no further action before bringing charges.

 

Taunton MC – R v ER

Giles Pengelly (instructed by Sandra Cooper) successfully persuaded the Court to dismiss the case after the officer could not explain the delays in the breath test procedure and accepted that sections of the form had not been completed. The officer had also given inconsistent evidence about having seen the vehicle being driven.

 

Bexley MC – R v MS

Jeanine Harry (instructed by Sandra Cooper) persuaded the Magistrates to find special reasons against a driving ban due to the short distance driven. The client had driven no more than 7 yards and the Magistrates were satisfied the client had no intention of driving any further.

 

Barkingside MC – R v AB

Eugene McLaughlin opposed an adjournment at the first hearing where the prosecution did not have a file available to proceed with the case. The Court agreed to dismiss the charge.

 

Teeside MC – R v LR

Ian Hudson (instructed by Laura Heywood) persuaded the prosecution to adjourn the case for them to consider discontinuing the case after the defence expert found a ‘check simulator gas’ error message on the printout. The police had failed to move to a blood sample as required by the breath specimen booklet.

 

Highbury MC – R v KM

Laura Heywood, reviewing lawyer persuaded the prosecution to discontinue the case after the police failed to serve CCTV and unused material. The client was challenging the breath test procedure.

 

High Wycombe MC – R v SI

James Brookes (instructed by Laura Heywood) successfully defended a fail to provide charge with an expert witness Dr Robinson. The client had a needle phobia. Instead of the police referring the client’s medical issues to a doctor the police charged the client with failing to provide.

 

Telford MC – R v HB

The case was discontinued after the first hearing where Micaila Williams (platinum lawyer) with Sandra Cooper as the reviewing lawyer persuasively set out all the issues in the case. The issues in the case were whether valid consent was taken for a blood sample at the hospital. The client was not in a fit medical state and therefore the police should have asked for permission after the client had been discharged. There was also an issue on whether there was sufficient evidence to prove the identity of the driver.

 

Barnsley MC– R v AP

Laura Heywood (instructed by Sandra Cooper) successfully defended the case by opposing an adjournment where the operator of the breath test device failed to attend the trial. The client had burped before the breath test procedure and the defence to be pursued was that the officer failed to eliminate contamination from mouth alcohol by waiting 20 minutes.

 

Highbury MC – R v DP

Sandra Cooper, reviewing lawyer persuaded the prosecution to discontinue the case after the police failed to serve CCTV and unused material. The client was challenging the breath test procedure and requiring the prosecution to prove the identity of the driver.

 

Bexley MC – R v KN

Sandra Cooper, reviewing lawyer persuaded the prosecution to discontinue before the trial. The client was charged with drink with excess alcohol. The issues in the case were fitness to consent and the chain of custody of the blood sample.

 

Bexley MC – R v SG

Laura Heywood, reviewing lawyer succeeded in persuading the prosecution to discontinue the case before trial. The issue was the reliability of the evidential breath test device.

 

Bristol MC – R v CH

The issue in the case was whether the police took more than the permitted two breath samples. There was also an issue about whether the police could prove the identity of the driver. The case was discontinued after the first hearing following representation by David Leathley, bronze level lawyer.

 

Ipswich MC – R v NJ

The issue in the case was machine reliability. Jay Lemosa, gold panel lawyer successfully persuaded the Magistrates to dismiss the charges after the prosecution failed to serve CCTV, training log and maintenance records after a disclosure order was obtained at an earlier hearing. Laura Heywood was the reviewing lawyer.

 

Cheltenham MC – R v RN

Chris Filer platinum level lawyer (instruct by Sandra Cooper) successfully opposed an application by the prosecution to adjourn the trial after the prosecution witness failed to attend the second listed trial having attended the first trial. The prosecution offered no evidence.

 

Highbury Corner – R v CM

Laura Heywood (reviewing lawyer) successfully persuaded the prosecution to discontinue the case after the first hearing when client was represented by Richard Berman, platinum level lawyer. The issues in the case were machine reliability and denial as to driving the vehicle.

 

Mansfield MC – R v RS

The case was discontinued after the first hearing after the client was represented at the first hearing by Mark Stocks, bronze level lawyer. The issues in the case were fitness to be detained and post driving alcohol. The reviewing lawyer was Laura Heywood.

 

Medway MC – R v DM

The case was discontinued after the first hearing when the client was represented by Eugene McLaughlin (platinum level lawyer). The issues in the case were whether the interview could be used after the police failed to notify the client of the right to speak to a lawyer on the phone. It was also noted that error messages appeared to be displayed on the evidential breath test device which may have required the police to move to blood or urine. The reviewing lawyer was Laura Heywood.

 

Cambridge MC – R v MP

Philip Lucas, gold panel lawyer (instructed by Laura Heywood reviewing lawyer) successfully persuaded the Court to disallow evidence which was served the day before trial so the police were unable to present evidence of the breath specimens. The issues in the case were machine reliability.

 

Willeseden MC – R v NS

The issues in the case were proof of driving. CCTV had not been served and an interview at the roadside was challenged on the grounds there was no caution and no interview should have taken place until the client was taken to the police station. Richard Berman, platinum level lawyer instructed by Sandra Cooper, reviewing lawyer successfully persuaded the prosecution to discontinue the case at trial, skeleton arguments having been served by the reviewing lawyer in advance of trial placing pressure on the CPS to reconsider the case.

 

Truro MC – R v KS

Sandra Cooper, reviewing lawyer persuaded the prosecution to discontinue the case before trial. The issues in the case were proof of driving, fitness to consent to blood sample and failure to provide the Defendant with a sample of blood.

 

Dudley MC – R v MC

The client was charged with failing to provide. Micaila Williams, platinum level lawyer successfully persuaded the Court to deal with the client on the basis there was no evidence of driving after reviewing CCTV evidence at trial. This meant client was eligible for a shorter discretionary ban instead of a mandatory ban. Instead of a starting point 18 to 24 month ban on a driver basis the client received a 6 month ban. The reviewing lawyer was Laura Heywood.

 

Leamington Spa MC – R v KF

The client was charged with failing to provide. Dr Robinson provided an expert report confirming that the client had a reasonable excuse for failing to provide a breath sample due to his mental state. The case was discontinued before trial once the expert report had been sent to the prosecution. Laura Heywood was the reviewing lawyer.

 

Spend just 5 to 10 minutes with us answering a few questions about your case and give yourself the possibility of avoiding a criminal record and driving ban.

Free Telephone Helpline – we are open for calls any day until 9pm on 0800 044 3730

 

BBC News article about police disclosure failings

This BBC news article talks about inefficiencies in the police service and how this can result in charges being dismissed against the defendant.

Taken from BBC news website 18/07/17

‘Police and prosecutors are causing delays and undermining justice in criminal trials by failing to follow basic rules about disclosing evidence to the defence, a report has found.

Police must log evidence they did not use during an investigation and pass it to the defence if it could assist their case or undermine the prosecution’s.

Two watchdogs said widespread problems in England and Wales increased stress for witnesses, victims and defendants.

Police and the CPS promised action.

The College of Policing said it would review officers’ training on disclosure. The CPS promised it would outline steps it would take later this year.

Fair trials undermined

The report, “Making it Fair”, by HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate (HMCPSi) and HM Inspectorate of Constabulary, said the flaws in disclosure risked leading to wrongful convictions and offenders walking free.

HMCPSi chief inspector Kevin McGinty said there was a “culture of defeated acceptance” that disclosure issues would be dealt with at the last moment, if at all.

“A failure to deal effectively with disclosure has a corrosive effect on the criminal justice system,” he said.

He said it undermined the principles of a fair trial, the foundation of the justice system.

“It adds delay, cost and increases the stress faced by witnesses, victims and defendants,” he said.

Mr McGinty said police “don’t know what they’re doing” regarding disclosure.

‘Chaotic’ court scenes

He accused the CPS of failing to “challenge” officers when there were gaps in their record-keeping – which the inspection report found to be “routinely poor”.

The report said the failings often led to “chaotic scenes” outside the courtroom as barristers tried to resolve disclosure failings at the “last-minute”, resulting in trials collapsing or being postponed.

In one example, a sexual assault case involving a child had to be delayed when it emerged a day before the trial that the child had written a letter which contradicted their evidence.

In another case, the jury in a burglary trial were discharged and a retrial ordered after the judge decided their view of it was distorted by the failure of police and prosecutors to disclose evidence to the defence.

The defence was unaware police had found chisel marks on a window of the burgled property and that the defendant was found with a chisel – but that the two didn’t match.

Steps to come

Responding to the findings, CPS director of legal services Gregor McGill said it understood the importance of complying with statutory obligations on the disclosure of unused material and said the CPS was committed to doing so.

“We will urgently work with our partners in policing, and other agencies, to address the findings in this report,” he said.

He said the CPS was already working with police to improve performance but there was more to be done and the next steps would be outlined in a report later this year’.

Cancellation form

 

(Complete and return this form only if you wish to withdraw from the contract)

To:       National Motoring Lawyers

Unit THU4

1 Pacific Road

Birkenhead

Merseyside

CH41 1LJ

 

I hereby give notice that I wish to cancel your services. I understand that I am responsible for fixed fees in respect of any urgent work undertaken before cancellation.

I understand that the website includes the following terms

‘The preparation fee is £165 (not guilty plea) or £375 (guilty plea) for the first hearing which is discounted from £705 provided we represent you at the first hearing on the anticipated plea and at any following hearing or we are the acting solicitors when you receive notice of no further action. Otherwise the non discounted rate will apply’. 

I understand that as I do not require representation I no longer qualify for the discounted preparation fee.

 

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Sky News Reports on discredited police laboratory

If you have been convicted of  drug driving since 2014 you may be entitled to have your case re-opened.  Please get in touch if your case was dealt with between 2014 and February ’17. See the link below for more details

http://news.sky.com/story/thousands-of-convictions-may-be-unsafe-after-evidence-manipulation-10870314