5/4/2006UK Court Convicts Without Evidence from Speed Cameras
Judge in Bristol, UK finds a man guilty of speeding without first looking at any evidence from a speed camera.
Tom MacClue, 67, believes there is no justice in the UK court system because it finds people guilty of crimes without evidence. His case began in 2004 when a mobile speed camera on Hartcliffe Way in Bristol claimed to have captured him at 40 MPH in a 30 zone. MacClue believed he was driving in a 50 zone at the time.
That he was speeding was not the problem. Rather, a judge found MacClue guilty without the prosecution offering the only evidence of the alleged crime -- the speed camera photograph. MacClue attended three court hearings where the prosecution, each time, failed to produce the photos. At a fourth hearing, the prosecution again did not produce them, but the judge convicted MacClue anyway and imposed a stiff £150 (US $276) penalty with four license demerit points.
"If I had accepted the prosecution in the first place I would have paid £60 and had three points on my license," MacClue told the Bristol Evening Post. "But I think because I challenged it I got a higher fine and more points."
Dick Bowen with the Avon and Somerset Safety Camera Partnership said his organization was among the first to stop charging defendants who pleaded "not guilty" for a copy of the speed camera photo.