The Magistrate's Blog (2005-2012)

This blog has migrated to www.magistratesblog.blogspot.co.uk This blog is anonymous, and Bystander's views are his and his alone. Where his views differ from the letter of the law, he will enforce the letter of the law because that is what he has sworn to do. If you think that you can identify a particular case from one of the posts you are wrong. Enough facts are changed to preserve the truth of the tale but to disguise its exact source.

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Location: Near London, United Kingdom

The blog is written by a retired JP, with over 30 years' experience on the Bench.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Missing The Point(s)

Today's news includes allegations against a Cabinet Minister that he persuaded someone else to accept penalty points that should have gone on his own driving licence, thus avoiding the inconvenience of a totting-up disqualification. I have no comment to make on that particular story (other than to say that it looks a bit like the hell-hath-no-fury syndrome).
I suspect that this practice, amounting to Perverting the Course of Justice, is pretty widespread. One of my neighbours proudly claims that his wife has put her hands up to two of his speed camera offences, and I recall, among others, that a Premiership footballer was outrageously cautioned by the police for the same thing. I have heard tales of students prepared to accept points for a fee, too. My own son lives and works abroad while holding a UK licence and I could, were I so minded, name him as the driver were I to be offered a fixed penalty.
It isn't risk-free though. In the case of my son, the Border Agency has records of when he is in the country, and you need to make sure that your insurance covers whomever you choose to nominate, as otherwise you could be charged with Permit No Insurance.
Judges take an exceedingly dim view of this sort of thing, and if your subterfuge goes wrong you face a strong likelihood of a prison sentence. There was a case a few years ago of a businessman who put his car in a ditch while over the drink limit, and got his wife to say she had been driving. It all fell apart and they both went inside. The wife, who was a solicitor, was also struck off.
I don't suppose that the police follow up many of these cases, although forward-facing cameras make it easier. Nevertheless, if it all goes pear-shaped, Hizonner can be expected to dish out condign punishment.