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I Fought The Law... And I WON

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by GypsyWannabe, Jul 22, 2011.

  1. GypsyWannabe

    GypsyWannabe Active Member

    Quakers Hill, Sydney
    Well my son did, anyway! ;)

    In September last year, only a couple of weeks before he was due to graduate from his red Ps to his green Ps, my son, 18, was pulled over by the local highway patrol for allegedly driving without a seat belt. He is particularly fussy about wearing a seat belt (he has a go at me if I reverse out of the driveway without buckling up!) and he remains adamant that he was buckled up. Note: he had stopped at an intersection, pulled the handbrake on and put the car in Park, to unbuckle his belt, remove his jacket then re-buckle the belt. That is not disputed but the Senior Constable said he drove off without putting his belt on and that is what was on the report.

    A few months earlier he had lost points for not displaying P plates (on that occasion my wife took them off his car without telling him to put in hers in case he drove home, not realising that I keep a set of plates in all cars, so when he later went out in his, he didn’t check) and we didn’t bother fighting it. The seat belt offence could have resulted in a loss of licence, so he was particularly upset on the day!

    Anyway, Ben had his day in court on Wednesday. Although very nervous, he defended himself and I am so proud of him!

    The three cases before his, all with legal representation, were convicted, including a barrister who was speeding, claimed Not Guilty all the time, only changing to Guilty requesting leniency at the last minute. He was already on probation and will lose his licence.

    Ben, on his own with no lawyer (just me providing support as a ‘Mackenzie Friend’) got to question the officer in the stand, as we had some doubts that he could actually see from the distance whether the belt was on or not. The prosecutor objected to just about every question, which threw Ben a little bit but he persisted. We had an aerial photograph from Google Maps and he asked the officer to indicate the location of both vehicles – it was handed up to the magistrate and Ben forgot to ask to have a look at the marks! He produced photos of his car and everything. We had cases of precedence where there were two versions of events so the charges were dropped, including one P. Keating vs police re running a red light but he got confused and forgot to mention them. :rolleyes:

    In the end, the magistrate found the offence “proven”. That is a bit disappointing, as I am confident he is not guilty but the magistrate looked at his driving experience, his record (basically, he’s not a hoon), the intent and recorded no conviction, no loss of points, no fine and no court costs to be paid! So, we were happy enough with that. Ben actually wants to be a cop (hoping for the September or January intake) and was worried this could affect his application.

    We celebrated with lunch at Hog's Breath and when we got home, Ben played The Dead Kennedys, I Fought The Law (And I Won) at full volume. :)

    Anyway, I just wanted to share a success story and how proud I am of my son. Hope you don’t mind! His father, however, who was pulled over at Easter for speeding in the T4, was not so lucky! :rolleyes:

  2. Kai

    Kai Well-Known Member

    Sydney, NSW
    Good on you Ben! That is great news.

    Now baz, you know that is the potential consequence of owning at T4 as opposed to a bay.
  3. oldman

    oldman Super Moderator Staff Member

    Avalon Beach NSW
    Hey Baz, great story / result :) We, my eldest & I, have had numerous "stoushes" with different authorities over the last year or so, not police but Hotel licencees etc., & the one thing that I have been able to show to my son, is that if you keep a level head and present your case with rock solid evidence, there is every chance that the people you are dealing with will see reason & change their minds. Emotion & rage will get you nothing but a negative result & will, in most cases, throw up a brick wall to negotiation. Being 20 & bullet-proof does not necessarily mean that you possess the rationale & cool head that is required for this type of confrontation.
    Your son should be congratulated for not only representing himself, but having the dogged determination to back himself when he knew he was innocent.

    I hope our younger members here take the time to read your story & accept that flicking the bird ( sic ) to the police is no way to get ahead in this world.

    Great stuff, cheers Mark
  4. GypsyWannabe

    GypsyWannabe Active Member

    Quakers Hill, Sydney
    Yes, I know Kai! And I still don't believe I was doing the speed claimed! I had the Tom Tom on and was sure I was not going over 80! However, I visited Engadine police station and the sergeant showed me the in-car video. There was me in the T4, coming down the hill, the only vehicle in the outside line, faster then the traffice in the nearside lane.

    Personally, I reckon all the other traffic was only doing about 55! :lol:

    It was a LIDAR, not a radar gun and the sergeant gave me a good demo of how it works. I clocked him at 5kmh walking down the hall. :) I told him, "I wish I'd kept the bay!". :lol:

    I decided not to fight and risk the costs and also because I wanted to focus on Ben's case.

    As Easter was double points, I now have only one left... :eek: So, you should see how carefully I drive now!

  5. KombiMadness

    KombiMadness Well-Known Member

    Sunshine Coast
    Well done, Ben! Baz, it sounds like you've raised Ben to be a thoughtful, honest lad...

    It is usually very hard to get a 'favourable' outcome in court representing yourself, especially verses the testamony and brief of evidence presented by an Authorised Officer. Usually this is because you don't understand the court's legal processes & format, know what can and can't be asked/admitted, etc and magistrates lose patience with you. But sometimes you get a magistrate who will help you out and be patient. Having maps and other thought out evidence is good and will help. But as Mark said, keeping cool, showing respect and keeping emotion and anger in check, will take you a long way......

    This taste of court will be good for Ben if he's going into the cops because he will be in court a lot as a copper giving evidence, except on the side of the prosecution.... :lol:
  6. kombijon

    kombijon Member

    Perth, WA
    great news, a few years ago in the UK i was accused of speeding thru a small village at 3pm, but i was at work till 4pm, after veiwing video footage, it was a similar van to mine with the same number plates fitted to the front (the rear number plate could be clearly seen on the dash) although you couldnt see the drivers face he was a big muscly fella with monster arms, alas im not built like that. the prossecution were gunning for a result but i kept calm, yes sir no sir. and i also won! the evidence speaks for its self!

    well done! "they" are not always right!
  7. kyznet

    kyznet Active Member

    Ashgrove 4060
    What a fab story Baz.

    You are right to be proud of Ben - he sounds like a really good young man.

    I take my hat off to him for having the kahunas to get up there and defend himself. The judge obviously thought that he did a great job. Best of luck to him for his future with the police force! :)
  8. back street bessie

    back street bessie Active Member

    Kangaroo Point 4169
    Hey that's a great story.
    Congrats Baz and Ben.

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