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Charged with a motoring offence and not eligible for legal aid

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  • Charged with a motoring offence and not eligible for legal aid

    I have been charged with a criminal offence contrary to Section 5(1)(a) of the Road Traffic Act 1988 and Schedule 2 of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 I have been charged with being in charge of a motor vehicle on a road, after consuming so much alcohol that the proportion of it in my breath exceeded the prescribed limit.

    I attended the first hearing and pleaded not guilty, the case has been listed for trial on and is expected to last approximately 2 and a half hours.

    I was charged with the offence after my car was stopped by Police on the motorway using a four car box maneuver because of a reason to believe my car was used in an armed robbery. My ex partner a provisional licence holder was driving and I was the only passenger.

    To prevent a collision into the stationary Police cars waiting ahead we came to an abrupt stop and were immediately escorted from the car and placed into seperate Police cars. He has subsequently been charged with armed robbery, carrying an offensive weapon in public, driving without insurance and driving other than in accordance with his licence. He is now on remand and I have subsequently established that this is his 4th armed robbery conviction.

    During the course of the relationship it became apparent my ex partner is a very dangerous man. He was very controlling and I was basically a prisoner in my own home. I was subject to domestic abuse which just got worse. He also relapsed to Class A drug use i.e. Heroin and Crack Cocaine.

    With the intention of him undergoing a detox I had booked a cottage in a remote area of the country for a week. I felt like I had to go through the motions of pretending to give the relationship one last chance so I booked the break. In reality the relationship was already over because I was emotionally detached but remained in the relationship because he just wouldn't leave and it all become normalised.

    2 nights after arrival he decided he wanted to go home to procure drugs and admitted the relationship was over although he claimed to be intent on suicide about it. I did not want to drive home because I was drunk and strongly tried to argue the point with him but it was futile. I had been relaxing and enjoying the open fire when he began packing all of our belongings into the car. He told me if I did not go with him he would leave me there. He was shouting at me to get our belongings together. I only had my pajamas and a dressing gown on when I was hurried into the car.

    I do not feel that at any point I was in charge of the vehicle or of the situation. I did not intend on driving again until the end of the booking.

    During the initial hearing I sought advice from the duty solicitor and the CPS advised they had prepared for a guilty plea. There is one statement from the 2 x Police officers that escorted me and sat in the car with me. The officers statement notes I was asked if I was supervising my partner as a learner driver and I agreed that I was. I was then cautioned and breathalysed and it is noted in the statement that the bodycam was turned on prior to the breath test in the car and prior to the test at the station.

    It is unknown why I was asked if I was supervising my partner as a learner driver. There were no L plates on the car. There is no indication that I was given the Police caution before being asked if I was supervising my partner as a learner driver. I was asked what licence my partner held and I asked why I was being asked when they had access to that information and should already know having intervened in his arrest. I was in shock, I felt very cold and was shaking with fear. I kept asking why I was in handcuffs and why I was sat in a Police car.

    During the hearing it was noted that no MG5 form had been completed. I am unsure what the relevance of this document is. There is also a concern that I was not given the Police caution prior to being questioned about the offence although the other Officers statement may record that I was.

    I do not recall being given the Police caution until after I was breathalysed. I waited all night to be interviewed so I could explain the circumstances and the context of my relationship with my ex partner. I was never interviewed or given the opportunity to explain. I have not been given the opportunity to provide a statement about the circumstances of my case.

    I will have to take any penalty on the nose and be grateful that the whole situation means that the relationship has now ended.

    I was advised by the duty solicitor that the CPS will be reviewing the case in order to determine if to proceed. In all honesty I have little faith in the duty solicitor to proceed with my case. It is not personal but I believe that he is waiting for the legal aid application to be determined not in my favour and I do not have the financial means to pay as a private client, thus I feel there is no incentive for him to proactively intervene.

    I am a law abiding citizen and my life has turned chaotic since being in the relationship. I am ashamed I allowed this to happen to me. My standard of living and my mental health have seriously deteriorated. I experience flash backs and panic attacks. He took away my personality and I hardly recognise myself. The experience on the motorway was truly horrifying and I have bever been so scared in my lifetime.

    Any help or advice about representing myself or about what I could be doing to get the best outcome would be so much appreciated. I feel like I am losing my mind with the stress and worry of it all.

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