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PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 17:15 
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timtjf wrote:
in all speeding cases the onus is on the defence to prove that the device used was
1. Not calibrated correctly
2. Different in some way from the type approved device
3. Not operated correctly
4. Had a fault

Not true.

It is for the prosecution to prove their case beyond reasonable doubt. To obtain a not guilty verdict the defence only need to raise a reasonable doubt.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 17:20 
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fisherman wrote:
timtjf wrote:
in all speeding cases the onus is on the defence to prove that the device used was
1. Not calibrated correctly
2. Different in some way from the type approved device
3. Not operated correctly
4. Had a fault

Not true.

It is for the prosecution to prove their case beyond reasonable doubt. To obtain a not guilty verdict the defence only need to raise a reasonable doubt.


Of course this should be the case, but in reality to do this to the court's satisfaction is tantamount to a de facto proof of innocence, wouldn't you say?

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 17:38 
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We have discussed the concept of "reasonable doubt" before as it relates to speed camera offences.

IIRC, even showing that the device had no valid calibration certificate was not enough for reasonable doubt to apply.

Robin is realistically correct in that you have to not just introduce what most people would consider to be reasonable doubt but in fact prove that you could not have committed the alleged offence by, for example, evidence that you were elsewhere at the time.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 17:38 
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RobinXe wrote:
Of course this should be the case, but in reality to do this to the court's satisfaction is tantamount to a de facto proof of innocence, wouldn't you say?

No. Anything the defence put forward is assessed on balance of probabilities and not the higher standard that is required of the prosecution. That leads to situations where the court is fairly sure a person is guilty, but because fairly sure isn't good enough, a not guilty verdict is announced.


I remember one such case involving a young driver who, when leaving the court after getting his not guilty verdict, stood in the doorway and announced to his friends "I got off with it".

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 17:45 
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malcolmw wrote:
We have discussed the concept of "reasonable doubt" before as it relates to speed camera offences.

IIRC, even showing that the device had no valid calibration certificate was not enough for reasonable doubt to apply.

Robin is realistically correct in that you have to not just introduce what most people would consider to be reasonable doubt but in fact prove that you could not have committed the alleged offence by, for example, evidence that you were elsewhere at the time.


An out of date calibration certificate doesn't necessarily raise a doubt about the accuracy of a device. Just as an out of date MOT certificate doesn't mean the car would fail an MOT test.

I do accept that it is very difficult to successfully challenge any machine measurement, whether that be a speed camera or a breathalyser, but that doesn't mean that courts apply a more stringent test to defence evidence in those cases.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 17:55 
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When the machines are assumed infallible unless proven otherwise, and the machine's output is enough to find someone is guilty, it is not a great stretch to take the next logical jump.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 19:54 
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fisherman wrote:
timtjf wrote:
in all speeding cases the onus is on the defence to prove that the device used was
1. Not calibrated correctly
2. Different in some way from the type approved device
3. Not operated correctly
4. Had a fault

Not true.

It is for the prosecution to prove their case beyond reasonable doubt. To obtain a not guilty verdict the defence only need to raise a reasonable doubt.


Sorry guys but I am right the Home Office make the following statement and copies are held by CPS and all courts

We consider that once a device has been type approved, its evidence should generally be accepted by the courts. The only challenge which can be made, we would hold, is one that refers to the particular device used on a particular occasion and alleges that it is materially different from the device that was type approved, or that on that occasion it malfunctioned; or that on that occasion its use did not comply with any conditions formally set down., in the type approval order, or that on that occasion the device was not operated in accordance with the manufacturer's handbook or any other guidance that has been issued, e.g. by ACPO.'


Defendants have to virtually prove a negative

Motoring justice compliments of Teletraffic UK and Lastec Inc of Colorado


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 21:40 
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What fisherman has said is exactly right; the defence must raise a doubt which is considered reasonable.

If a defence just says "it isn't calibrated", "the alignment hasn't been verified", "a recommended check hasn't been completed that day"; is that reasonable when no effect of the apparent failing in procedure is evidenced?

Take the alignment verification for instance. Apart from devices that are in the possession of some who appear to have deliberately loosened the sighting scope, the alignment of laser system and sighting scope is essentially rigid and remains in alignment year-after-year without any requirement for adjustment. So if an operator verifies alignment on a Monday and then the following Monday and all is found to be well; is it "reasonable" to doubt the alignment between the laser system and the sighting scope between the checks carried out on a weekly basis?

If an operator does this:
1. Verifies alignment at the start of a speed check at 0900 then at the end of a speed check a1100.
2. Performs another speed enforcement session between 1200 to 1400 with no alignment verification.
3. Carries out a 3rd speed check between 1500 and 1700 this time verifying alignment at 1500 and 1700.
Is it reasonable to say that for the speed check carried out between 1200 to 1400 there is reasonable doubt that the checks are in anyway flawed?

Just challenging any apparent departure from procedure, does not establish reasonable doubt!


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 22:11 
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Just the fact that the "expert" witness is unable to tell if his employees have been properly trained or not should raise a few doubts!

The "expert" has stated on numerous occasions that the LTI was always used properly under his guidance, (http://www.web.archive.org/web/20051223083205/http://www.bbc.co.uk/london/content/articles/2005/09/07) yet one of his operatives in the Montgomery case was proven to be a complete clown, and guilty of waving it all over the place!

On Pistonheads he claimed that a poster could view his offence photographs simply by emailing him personally - and yet he clearly prevented another victim of a dodgy piece of kit from seeing the pictures - emailing back that the victim had to go to court to see them! So given his clear willingness to bend the truth, I would urge that any judge considering his evidence consider a lie detector test first!!

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 22:21 
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GreenShed wrote:
timtjf wrote:
GreenShed wrote:
I wonder how you evidence of Richards NOT speeding stacks up against his evidence that he was. I agree, perhaps you should have had that tested in court.


Unfortunately it wasn't my decision as he decided to plead to the speeding charge, in view of the additional offence, so no evidence was tested in court from either side.

Therefore any evidence is only a matter of individual opinion until it has been fully examined by all sides and the court

He admitted driving at 54mph at the time he passed the camera. I understand about the evidence being tested in court and its examination.

My point is, the vehicle was being driven at 54mph, the driver said so, you say you have evidence it was not; what does that say about your evidence?

It seems simple enough - it is cheaper to plead guilty than to continue fighting the case - it's not the first time it has happened!
The CPS and their cronies are often more guilty than the defendants they are prosecuting! I have seen what amounts to threatening behaviour used in a magistrates court, and it saddens me that justice in many cases has come to who has a endless source of money and the safety net of being able to discontinue cases they might lose, and who has limited resources! :(

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 00:12 
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GreenShed wrote:
What fisherman has said is exactly right; the defence must raise a doubt which is considered reasonable.

If a defence just says "it isn't calibrated", "the alignment hasn't been verified", "a recommended check hasn't been completed that day"; is that reasonable when no effect of the apparent failing in procedure is evidenced?

Take the alignment verification for instance. Apart from devices that are in the possession of some who appear to have deliberately loosened the sighting scope, the alignment of laser system and sighting scope is essentially rigid and remains in alignment year-after-year without any requirement for adjustment. So if an operator verifies alignment on a Monday and then the following Monday and all is found to be well; is it "reasonable" to doubt the alignment between the laser system and the sighting scope between the checks carried out on a weekly basis?

If an operator does this:
1. Verifies alignment at the start of a speed check at 0900 then at the end of a speed check a1100.
2. Performs another speed enforcement session between 1200 to 1400 with no alignment verification.
3. Carries out a 3rd speed check between 1500 and 1700 this time verifying alignment at 1500 and 1700.
Is it reasonable to say that for the speed check carried out between 1200 to 1400 there is reasonable doubt that the checks are in anyway flawed?

In theory correct, however no one can see the laser and only the operator can see the red dot, in the sighting scope, all that can be seen after the event is the cross hairs, which can only ever be accurately aligned at a one distance and if the operator targets vehicle at different distance to his alignment distance the cross hairs do not indicate the centre of the laser.

The we have a considerable number of operators using the cross hairs as their aiming mechanism and not the correct method by using the red dot

Whereas the red dot/laser alignment should not got out, it makes the assumption that they were correctly aligned originally.

These checks are NEVER carried out correctly because operators are not taught correctly and do not understand what the beam footprint is and if you do not understand the footprint it is impossible to check the alignment is correct.

Just challenging any apparent departure from procedure, does not establish reasonable doubt!


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 11:59 
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timtjf wrote:
In theory correct, however no one can see the laser and only the operator can see the red dot, in the sighting scope, all that can be seen after the event is the cross hairs, which can only ever be accurately aligned at a one distance and if the operator targets vehicle at different distance to his alignment distance the cross hairs do not indicate the centre of the laser.

You are demonstrating an empty challenge here, typical of what I mention above. You make a claim with no demonstration of magnitude or significance so it will be disregarded. The alternative would be to explain by how much the cross-hair alignment would be out at say 800m when they were correctly aligned at say 600m. The answer is "not much". so why not say that or more correctly don't even mention it because it cannot be significant.
The reality is that it is not significant at all when the operator has evidenced that they do not and have not used the cross-hair for targeting.

timtjf wrote:
The we have a considerable number of operators using the cross hairs as their aiming mechanism and not the correct method by using the red dot

Do we really? Where is your evidence of that? No evidence = No reasonable doubt. Again, the court is likely and rightly in my opinion to disregard such an empty statement.

timtjf wrote:
Whereas the red dot/laser alignment should not got out, it makes the assumption that they were correctly aligned originally.

The assumption that they were "correctly aligned originally" is entirely reasonable. Where is your evidence that they were misaligned? You must bring such evidence or you have only a baseless assumption.
Can you bring evidence that the alignment is typically defective or once aligned is prone to becoming misaligned? Have you any evidence that operators have difficulty in performing alignment verification? It would seem not so again there is nothing of substance with which to raise any doubt that can be considered reasonable by a reasonable person.

timtjf wrote:
These checks are NEVER carried out correctly because operators are not taught correctly and do not understand what the beam footprint is and if you do not understand the footprint it is impossible to check the alignment is correct.

You have, in this statement brought evidence of something at last. Congratulations. The problem for you is it is evidence that you do not understand the alignment mechanism.

Once again, reasonable doubt is not established by wild accusations, you need evidence. I acknowledge some courts have been persuaded by wild accusations but that's another story and the reason they continue to be made.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 14:55 
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GreenShed wrote:
timtjf wrote:
In theory correct, however no one can see the laser and only the operator can see the red dot, in the sighting scope, all that can be seen after the event is the cross hairs, which can only ever be accurately aligned at a one distance and if the operator targets vehicle at different distance to his alignment distance the cross hairs do not indicate the centre of the laser.

You are demonstrating an empty challenge here, typical of what I mention above. You make a claim with no demonstration of magnitude or significance so it will be disregarded. The alternative would be to explain by how much the cross-hair alignment would be out at say 800m when they were correctly aligned at say 600m. The answer is "not much". so why not say that or more correctly don't even mention it because it cannot be significant.
The reality is that it is not significant at all when the operator has evidenced that they do not and have not used the cross-hair for targeting.

timtjf wrote:
The we have a considerable number of operators using the cross hairs as their aiming mechanism and not the correct method by using the red dot

Do we really? Where is your evidence of that? No evidence = No reasonable doubt. Again, the court is likely and rightly in my opinion to disregard such an empty statement.

timtjf wrote:
Whereas the red dot/laser alignment should not got out, it makes the assumption that they were correctly aligned originally.

The assumption that they were "correctly aligned originally" is entirely reasonable. Where is your evidence that they were misaligned? You must bring such evidence or you have only a baseless assumption.
Can you bring evidence that the alignment is typically defective or once aligned is prone to becoming misaligned? Have you any evidence that operators have difficulty in performing alignment verification? It would seem not so again there is nothing of substance with which to raise any doubt that can be considered reasonable by a reasonable person.

timtjf wrote:
These checks are NEVER carried out correctly because operators are not taught correctly and do not understand what the beam footprint is and if you do not understand the footprint it is impossible to check the alignment is correct.

You have, in this statement brought evidence of something at last. Congratulations. The problem for you is it is evidence that you do not understand the alignment mechanism.

Once again, reasonable doubt is not established by wild accusations, you need evidence. I acknowledge some courts have been persuaded by wild accusations but that's another story and the reason they continue to be made.


600mtr alignment for the red dot/cross hairs, come on be reasonable

Try red dot/Cross hair alignment at 16mtrs enforcement at 160mtrs = red dot/cross hair misalignment horisontal 1.2mtrs vertical misalignemnt 0.25mtrs these are facts from an actual case.

Are these misalignments insignificant??????????????????????????

As for operators not carrying out the checks correctly try this

A prosecution expert has stated the following in evidence

Put the instrument in tt' mode by pressing "Test/Options" button twice.
Pull the Trigger to generate the audible test tone.
Listen to the tone. Strong signal is a high pitch. Weak signal is low pitch.
Select a telegraph pole, lamp post or similar as a target with the sky as the background at not less than 50 metres distance.
Scan the target gently both vertical and horizontal listening to the tone changes.

I have seen countless incidents where operators have carried out this check so fast if you blinked you would miss it.

This is operating under the "Don't do as I do do as I say"

I find it rather hypocritic that the defence have to bring evidence that something was not done, whereas the prosecution only have to say "this was done" oras Greeashed has put it "It is reasonable to assume that it was carried out correctly"

After over 20 years of giving evidence I believe that criminal courts do not assume, it is only in civil vourt that the balance of probability come in to it.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 16:36 
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Sorry Greenshed, you're once again showing your ignorance (and seemingly disrespect towards) the "innocent until proven guilty" basis of our common law system. A defendant should not have to present evidence that something was wrong with the device, or its use, in order to raise a reasonable doubt if all the evidence that the prosecution provides does not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that nothing was. I would suggest that operating procedures, limitations and paperwork requirements are there in order to prevent reasonable doubt, and the fact that they were not demonstrably satisfied raises just that.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 16:51 
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I subscribe to the arrangements proposed by Robin that the prosecution should have all the proof documentation to hand to put the equipment results beyond reasonable doubt. However, Fisherman appears to contradict that above when he states than a challenge of, for example, the calibration of the system being out of date is just decided on the balance of probabilities.

In my view, the absence of proof of valid calibration amounts to reasonable doubt as to accuracy.

In any event, what would be so difficult about the prosecution getting all their proof in order before going to court? This would surely insulate them against challenges but is the operation of the automated enforcement system so slapdash that this is not easily done?

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 17:23 
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malcolmw wrote:
...In my view, the absence of proof of valid calibration amounts to reasonable doubt as to accuracy....

"In your view"!!! What weight should the court give to your view?
You have little or no knowledge of note in the device timtjf seems to have the wrong view of the device operation so what weight would be reasonable? None at all as they are or are likely to be wrong.
Your view, does not constitute a reasonable doubt. In my opinion.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 17:29 
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RobinXe wrote:
Sorry Greenshed, you're once again showing your ignorance (and seemingly disrespect towards) the "innocent until proven guilty" basis of our common law system. A defendant should not have to present evidence that something was wrong with the device, or its use, in order to raise a reasonable doubt if all the evidence that the prosecution provides does not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that nothing was. I would suggest that operating procedures, limitations and paperwork requirements are there in order to prevent reasonable doubt, and the fact that they were not demonstrably satisfied raises just that.

The presumption of the evidence is that the witness opinion and the corroborating evidence of a measuring instrument is evidence enough. When the point is thus proven the defence are entirely at liberty to bring EVIDENCE that the prosecution evidence is incorrect or inaccurate. No evidence to the contrary and the prosecution evidence stands and the principle of "innocent until proven guilty" is maintained. The courts don't tend to work in favour of a defendant with no better defence than "I didn't do it"!
Are you sure you have this law subject weighed off? You do seem to struggle with it.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 17:44 
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Let's take this one step at a time.

Do you think that measuring instruments need to be calibrated?

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 18:45 
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GreenShed wrote:
RobinXe wrote:
Sorry Greenshed, you're once again showing your ignorance (and seemingly disrespect towards) the "innocent until proven guilty" basis of our common law system. A defendant should not have to present evidence that something was wrong with the device, or its use, in order to raise a reasonable doubt if all the evidence that the prosecution provides does not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that nothing was. I would suggest that operating procedures, limitations and paperwork requirements are there in order to prevent reasonable doubt, and the fact that they were not demonstrably satisfied raises just that.

The presumption of the evidence is that the witness opinion and the corroborating evidence of a measuring instrument is evidence enough. When the point is thus proven the defence are entirely at liberty to bring EVIDENCE that the prosecution evidence is incorrect or inaccurate. No evidence to the contrary and the prosecution evidence stands and the principle of "innocent until proven guilty" is maintained. The courts don't tend to work in favour of a defendant with no better defence than "I didn't do it"!
Are you sure you have this law subject weighed off? You do seem to struggle with it.


Having been involved in hundreds of real criminal cases the defence do not have to prove innocence, however the prosecution have to prove their case so that the court (aka Jury) are SURE of guilt, anything else the court must find the defendant not guilty.

The defence do not have top produce any evidence whatsoever however they can challenge to prosecution evidence, just saying the defendant is guilty is not good enough.

However i did say in REAL CRIMINAL CASES motorist are in that catagorie in theory and law, but not in practice.

If the equipment is so good why is all the relevant information, that would prove its accuracy, CLASSIFIED INFORMATION, any reasonable and intelligent person will know the answer

So what does that say about those who dont know


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 19:20 
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malcolmw wrote:
Let's take this one step at a time.

Do you think that measuring instruments need to be calibrated?

Generally yes but when they calibrate themselves no.


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