Driving without due care and attention

Our clients were father and daughter and each had been summonsed for failing to provide information sufficient to identify the driver of the vehicle registered in Miss B's name who had been involved in an alleged incident of driving without due care and attention. Both clients confirmed that they had not given this information but only because in each case neither had received the statutory notice that the police said that they had posted to them. The prosecution's case was that having forwarded notices to each of our clients neither responded. They said that they sent further notices to each of the by recorded delivery and whilst they acknowledged that they had information from the Post Office that the letter sent to Miss B in these terms had not been delivered that information was not conceded in the case of Mr B. The law requires any person who receives such a notice to give details to the police of who was driving the vehicle at the relevant time. The sanction is a fine and 6 penalty points on their licence if they do not comply. However it is a defence to show that the notice was not received and therefore the clients were each advised to plead not guilty. In the intervening period of time we made enquiries of the Post Office as to whether or not they could confirm that the registered letter sent to Mr B had been received and signed for. The Post Office responded by saying that their records showed that it had not been so delivered. A copy of that letter was sent to the prosecution and representations were made to the effect that they could not prove service of either of the notices on either of our clients. It was pointed out to them that as the prosecution they are required to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt and it was suggested that this standard of proof was unachievable in this case. On the morning of the trial that fact was conceded and the prosecution offered no evidence against each of our clients. They were not legally aided and so we were able to obtain an order for payment of their costs from Central Funds.