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Driving while disqualified, Glasgow, 2 May 2017, Not Guilty

This case called for trial on 2 May 2017. He was charged with driving while disqualified, contrary to section 103 of the Road Traffic Act 1988. This is an extremely serious charge and often carries custodial sentences.

Our client was almost the victim of a gross miscarriage of justice. He simply had no idea that he was disqualified. Part of our job was to find out what had happened. What we discovered was that our client had been sent a requirement to identify the driver of his car on a certain date. Our client did not receive this letter. In turn he was thereafter summonsed for court in the mail. He did not receive this summons. The case called in court and – as seems to often happen in England – he was prosecuted and convicted in his absence without even getting the chance to be heard. He was given 6 points and, because he already had 6 points, the court disqualified him from driving in his absence. He was notified by letter – which, surprise, he did not receive.

This chain of events would never happen in Scotland. A person who fails to show up for would ultimately be arrested and brought to court – an unpleasant experience but infinitely preferable to what actually occurred and end up facing a jail sentence for driving while disqualified.

In this case we were able to secure statements from the court in England confirming that our client had never been present. We also secured statements from his post office confirming that he had long-standing problems with mail going missing. In all the circumstances the Crown was persuaded to accept Not Guilty pleas to driving while disqualified and the accompanying charge of driving without insurance.

This case was prepared and defended by Steven Farmer on 2 May 2017