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Driving while using mobile phone, Livingston, 13 April 2017, Not Guilty

This case called for trial at Livingston Justice of the Peace Court on 13 April 2017.

The police position was that our client was speaking on the phone, holding it in his right hand to his right ear and talking into it. The police claimed to have a clear and unobstructed view of the incident with our client remaining in their full view for around 15 seconds.

Pretty overwhelming  evidence of driving while using a mobile phone you may think. It was this latter claim that first made us think the police were being less than honest. Following our usual practice we attended the locus and assessed the view of the police officers. Our conclusion was – unless the police had x-ray vision or our client was driving about 5mph, it was simply not possible for the police to have such a good view. 5 seconds was the absolute maximum. This is more than enough but that is not the point. If the police were prepared to exaggerate about this, what else would they be prepared to do to ensure a conviction?

Our suspicions proved well founded when the first police witness overstepped the mark during his evidence. Evidence was put before the court which was unfairly prejudicial to our client. A motion was made to desert the case in the interests of justice. The court agreed and the case against our client was deserted.

This case was prepared by and defended by Steven Farmer on 13 April 2017