Derby crime solicitor Nick Wright recently represented a client who had been subject to a ‘postal requisition’ bringing him before Derby Magistrates’ Court for an allegation of Disorderly Conduct.
The system of postal requisition has replaced the old summons in order to commence court proceedings. Strict time limits apply to many cases.
Case commenced by postal requisition
The allegation was one that perhaps ought to have been given priority by the police. It involved an allegation from a local Member of Parliament who maintained that a vehicle had been driven past her while she was attending to her bins. The driver, as the vehicle went by, was said to have shouted ‘I hope you die’, swearing and using additional abusive language.
The complainant had the presence of mind to take the registration number of the vehicle as well as its description, and was able to describe the driver.
The police believed that the incident arose due to the MP’s political beliefs.
On arrest, Nick’s client admitted that he was the driver of the vehicle, accepted that he had been shouting, but denied that he was shouting at the MP. He denied knowing she was on the road, and stated that the shouting was during an argument and the circumstances meant that he was not guilty of the offence.
Always read the small print
There was not an opportunity for the matter to be argued at trial. As the charge could only be dealt with in the Magistrates’ Court it was subject to a 6 month time limit to start proceedings. In fact, proceedings were authorised nearly a month after this time limit expired. As a result, once Nick identified this as an issue and spoke with the prosecutor, the prosecution had no alternative but to withdraw the charge.
Contact a Derby Criminal Defence Solicitor
If you are being investigated by the police or face court proceedings then you will need a solicitor to take the time to examine all of the evidence, including whether a postal requisition has been properly issued in time.