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Archive for the ‘Court Procedure’ Category

John Terry Is In Good Company With Court Gaff

A light hearted post for a change.

John Terry is all over Twitter again tonight; this time not connected to a team mate’s wife or for using foul language. In fact very much the opposite; he is ridiculed for being too polite.

He was asked to confirm how many times he has been sent off. His reply of four was too softly spoken for the court to hear so his barrister asked him to “say please, four times”.

“Please, please, please, please” was his response!

You couldn’t make it up! One wonders why he thought he was being asked to do this and what else his barrister could have made him say?

In fairness, the courtroom can be a very intimidating place if you aren’t used to it and it’s easy to slip up.

In my time I have come across some funny gaffs…

Like when I asked my client why he agreed with everything the prosecutor asked him in cross examination. “I thought he was on our side because you called him ‘my friend’.”

Or the time that a witness was recounting a nasty verbal abuse against him. He told the court that the defendant called him a ‘specky, four eyed, Irish, Catholic, c**t’.  The chairman of the bench looked up at him and said, “were you wearing you glasses at the time?”

A colleague representing two clients was asked to explain why one of them hadn’t turned up. He turned to ask the defendant who had turned up why his friend hadn’t. Upon hearing the muttered answer he told the magistrates that his client had nits. ‘Nits?’ asked the magistrates. Feeling a tug on his jacket he turned back to the helpful friend who repeated the answer. “Ahh, he ummm, has, erm, gastric problems!”

How do I Make a Statutory Declaration

I received a call yesterday from a woman who said “I have just received a letter from the court telling me that I have to pay a fine and that points will be put on my licence. This is the first I have heard of it.”

This is not as unusual as you may think. I often hear this, letters from the court go astray and people think that they will not hear anything in relation to the speeding matter that the police wrote to them about 4 months ago.

The next thing that they hear is that they have been found guilty, fined and points put on their licence.

All is not lost and I will take you through the procedure of getting back to the beginning.

First you need to apply to Set aside the conviction. You do this by going to or ringing the court that has sentenced you. Tell them that you did not know anything about this and ask to set aside the conviction. This must be done within 28 days of hearing about the matter (so the day you received the fine notice).

You will then be invited to attend court to make a statutory declaration. You will be asked to swear on oath that you knew nothing of the proceedings. If the cort accept this then the matter will be set aside and you will have no conviction, fine or points against you. Sometimes this is the last you will hear of it, normally the Crown Prosecution will issue another summons and you will be given a new hearing date. If it is your intention to plead not guilty then you will be given the chance to do that and the matter will be listed for trial.

If you need any help with this feel free to contact Steve Williams on 01623 397200

Defendants Legal costs cap ‘unlawful’

The High Court ruled today that the scheme introduced by the previous government that limited the amount payable to successful defendants was unlawful.

This hit motorists particularly hard. In effect it meant that if you were taken to court wrongly by the government and won your case then you could only claim your legal fees back at Legal Aid rates, even though you would not have been eligible for Legal Aid. Legal Aid rates have not been increased for over 10 years and no specialist motoring solicitor would charge at Legal Aid rates. This meant that motorists again had to fund the legal system and pay the shortfall, even though they were forced to defend themselves against wrongful charges by the Government.

Thankfully that is behind us and we are back to the old, fairer system whereby you can employ the solicitor of your choice, safe in the knowledge that if you win you will be able to reclaim your legal fees back.

Forrest Williams TV