Illegality of existing Cleveland Section 172 Notice once again confirmed in Court
In Teesside Crown Court on February 28th Judge Briggs found in favour of appellant, Andrew Heaney, in confirming his appeal against conviction on a failure to provide driver details in response to a Section 172 notice.
Judge Briggs confirmed that the July 2006 ruling of Judge Bowers in the Dehany case was correct, the Section 172 notice employed by Cleveland Police for 6 years leading up to this case was invalid.
In this ruling, once again the Cleveland 172 notice was found not to be a legally-valid document. Judge Briggs therefore had no alternative than to find in favour of Mr. Heaney.
This confirmation also resulted in the Crown admitting that Cleveland had not appealed, are not currently appealing, and will not in the future appeal against the findings of either Judge Bowers or Judge Briggs.
This second ruling, coupled to the admission of no appeal by the Crown should create the circumstances where potentially tens of thousands of Cleveland motorists convicted solely by Section 172 evidence over a six year period can confidently appeal against their convictions - provided that a sufficient number of appellants initiate due process within 21 days of the landmark Dehany verdict, or seek leave to appeal out of time.
This process was circumvented and continual convictions secured by the (untrue) indication from the Crown that Cleveland Police intended to appeal against the Dehany verdict. In fact no such appeal was lodged - as both the Crown and Cleveland Police knew that any such appeal was doomed to abject failure as today's verdict has shown. The Cleveland Section 172 Notice has for the last 6 years been - and remains today - a legally flawed document.
All that remains now is for individual drivers to contact Mr Burton or suitable lawyers to secure their appeal against conviction in Court in Cleveland by Section 172 evidence alone.
The convictions that can successfully be appealed relate to failure to provide driver details, and convictions for speeding where the Section 172 notice provided the Courts with the only evidence of driving.
To be successful in securing leave to appeal against their convictions (as Mr. Heaney has done) the legal process should be done within the next 21 days; provided enough motorists take issue with their convictions they may create the possibility for a class action suit to be brought on behalf of ALL Cleveland road users convicted solely by Section 172 notice over the past 6 years. This will run into thousands of legally unsafe convictions and quashed penalty points, and many hundreds of thousands or millions of pounds of reimbursed fines.
If you have been convicted of a speed-related offence by Cleveland Police over the past 6 years in absentia and solely by Section 172 Notice evidence, contact: Mr Clive Burton, Ward and Griffiths Solicitors, Nottingham 0115 941 2622 and firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible to determine whether you have valid grounds for successful appeal.