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Case Studies

R v H – Two speeding tickets, 113mph but no fine or points

Mr H was accused of speeding on the M42, having been followed by a police officer. The traffic officer conducted two speed captures throughout the process, with the higher one suggesting a speed in excess of 113mph in a 70mph limit. As Mr H was travelling between Warwickshire and Birmingham, he surprisingly found himself summonsed to two separate Courts, facing two separate allegations of speeding. The Officer formed the view that he could bring two charges as the speed captures were in separate jurisdictions.

Solicitor Nick Terry identified at an early stage that this should be considered a course of conduct and so only be one speeding offence. The CPS knew they were unlikely to succeed in arguing to the contrary so sought to withdraw the proceedings for the lesser of the speeds. Before the case was withdrawn from the Magistrates Court however, a not guilty plea was entered which required the CPS to formally offer no evidence to conclude that case. Legally and strategically, this was very important.

The CPS intended to proceed with the remaining, more serious speeding allegation however a carefully drafted legal argument prevented them from doing so. It could not properly be disputed that the two speed captures were part of one ongoing speeding incident. As the CPS had formally offered no evidence before the first Court to that charge, Mr Terry successfully argued Autrefois Acquit, a legal maxim preventing a person being tried of an offence for which they have previously been acquitted.

Accordingly, Mr H did not receive any penalty points, disqualifications nor fines and did not have to personally set foot in a court room throughout the whole process.

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