ROAD TRAFFIC

[2020] EWCA Crim 513
[2020] EWCA Crim 513
CA (Crim Div) (Simler LJ, Goss J, Judge Jeremy Richardson QC)
19 March 2020

In circumstances where an offender had pleaded guilty to various road traffic offences, the Crown Court had imposed penalty points upon his licence where there was no power to do so as the offender had also been disqualified from driving. Further, two summary matters had been committed for sentence to the Crown Court under the wrong legislative regime, namely the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000 s.3 when it should have been s.6, although that had not invalidated the entire committal.

DC (Leggatt LJ, May J)
4 February 2020

The court rejected a prosecution appeal against the acquittal of an individual charged with speeding. It was not possible to conclude that the justices had reached a perverse or irrational decision; they had evidently regarded evidence from the individual’s GPS tracking device as providing a reasonable doubt that he had been travelling at above 50 mph, notwithstanding the fact that it was not an approved device for measuring speed, and that was all that was required.

[2019] EWHC 2044 (Admin)
[2019] EWHC 2044 (Admin)
QBD (Admin) (Thirlwall LJ, Goss J)
31 July 2019

The Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986 reg.110(1)(a) and the Road Traffic Act 1988 s.41D did not prohibit all use of hand-held mobile phones while driving. Rather they prohibited only the making and receiving of calls and the use of interactive communication functions.

[2019] EWCA Crim 1958
[2019] EWCA Crim 1958
CA (Crim Div) (Haddon-Cave LJ, Farbey J, Judge Molyneux)
31 July 2019

The court quashed a conviction for doing acts tending and intended to pervert the course of justice in relation to the provision of false information as to the identity of the driver of a speeding car. The judge’s ruling that the defendant had given a false impression to the jury was wrong in law and the defendant had not had a fair trial because of the inappropriate nature and frequency of the judge’s interventions; he had transgressed the fundamental principles of a fair trial and the hearing had become inquisitional.

[2019] EWCA Crim 1494
[2019] EWCA Crim 1494
CA (Crim Div) (Males LJ, Jay J, Edis J)
18 July 2019

A four-year period of disqualification imposed on an offender who had pleaded guilty to dangerous driving was not manifestly excessive. The offence was a serious one, the offender had a very significant criminal record and he had been on licence at the time of the offence.

[2019] EWCA Crim 912
[2019] EWCA Crim 912
CA (Crim Div) (Fulford LJ, Andrew Baker J, Sir John Royce)
6 June 2019

Police seeking to prosecute motorists for road traffic offences would satisfy the due diligence requirement in the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 s.2(3)(a) by sending the notice of intended prosecution to the address of the registered keeper in the Police National Computer, which obtained its information direct from the DVLA. The registered address for a vehicle was often somewhere that was not automatically associated with its keeper. It was unnecessary for a copy of the notice to be sent on a speculative basis to other addresses which might be associated with the motorist.

[2019] EWCA Crim 833
[2019] EWCA Crim 833
CA (Crim Div) (Nicola Davies LJ, Spencer J, Morris J)
2 May 2019

The imposition of an immediate custodial sentence of 20 months’ imprisonment for causing serious injury by dangerous driving was appropriate where the offender had engaged in a prolonged, deliberate course of very bad driving, aggravated by the consumption of a substantial amount of alcohol, resulting in gross impairment.

[2019] EWHC 798 (Admin)
[2019] EWHC 798 (Admin)
DC (Irwin LJ, Stuart-Smith J)
2 April 2019

A written charge was “issued” under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 s.29(1) when the document comprising it was completed with all relevant details, in the form required for service. Issuing was a discrete step from serving the charge on the accused person. If the charge was issued within six months of the offence, it was issued in time under the Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980 s.127(1) even if it had not yet been served.

[2019] EWCA Crim 235
[2019] EWCA Crim 235
CA (Crim Div) (Holroyde LJ, O'Farrell J, Judge Wall QC)
7 February 2019

Where an offender who had completed the detention and training period of a detention and training order committed a further offence while still subject to a period of supervision, the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000 s.106 required a sentence of detention in a young offender institution to be imposed with immediate effect. Such a sentence could not be made consecutive to any detention period imposed for breach of the DTO.

[2018] NICA 52
[2018] NICA 52
CA (NI) (Deeny LJ, Treacy LJ, McAlinden J)
21 December 2018

A judge had erred in concluding that alcohol, which was the culpable cause of an offender’s dangerous driving, and a record of dangerous driving 20 years earlier, together required the offender to be sentenced within a higher culpability category. Judges had to be careful not to double-count against an offender by treating the sole cause of the accident as an aggravating factor of itself. He should have been sentenced within the intermediate category, and the appropriate term was 27 months’ imprisonment.

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