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Messages - SeeksJustice

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Hi Folks,

Just a quick update on the conclusion of my case. The court determined to reopen my case this week on the basis there had been an error made in sentencing. The Prosecution offered no case. The Magistrate decided to revert the fine and costs from £1,490 to £100 and 3 penalty points, equivalent to the fixed penalty that I had received for the offence. The magistrate also acknowledged that I had understood more about procedure than the court staff had.

Thank you once again for all your learned advice on points of law and procedure as I would not have had the determination to fight the case without it.

Justice served!

Thanks, I am emboldened by all the advice received and will persevere down the s142 path as I have outlined in the requests I have made to HMTCS and the Court where the sentencing guidelines were not followed and I was unfairly disadvantaged through no fault of my own.

I believe HMTCS sending me details of the Appeal process is another rouse to kick the ball in to the long grass and delay proceedings with the intention of having my request refused due to the lapse in time since I was notified of the sentence. This sounds similar to the original advice I was given by SJS to make a statutory declaration against the SJPN and then HMTCS taking more than 3 months to respond advising I was not eligible to make a Statutory Declaration as I had plead guilty in the SJPN. I was guilty of the offence, the issue is the unfair sentence I received.

Thanks again for all the advice and I will keep you posted on how I get on.   

Hi All,

just a quick update on my case. I had emailed HMTCS, written to the Magistrates Court where the case was heard and sentence imposed, and submitted an online request to HMCTS to have the case reopened under ‘Options after a magistrates court decision' all in pursuit of having the case reopened under s142 of the Magistrates Court act 1980.

HMTCS have replied to a prior email I had sent requesting the sentence be appealed and have the case reopened stating I have an automatic right of appeal to the Crown Court to appeal against the conviction and that I can appeal against the conviction and/or the sentence within 21 days. They also highlighted in the event 21 days have passed, and in my case more than 8 months have passed, then I must make an application for leave to appeal out of time. They also go on to say whether I am granted leave to appeal will be decided by the Crown Court and I will be notified of the decision.

HMCTS appear to be disregarding my request to have the case reopened by the Magistrates Court under s142 in the interests of justice as sentencing guidelines were not followed being my best course of action and as advised on this forum. I do not want to make an appeal to the Crown Court as I assume this puts me at risk of the conviction/sentence being upheld, a harsher sentence being imposed and increased costs. Not to mention the legal fees incurred to defend my case.

Should I persevere and insist the case be reviewed by a Magistrate with a view to the case being reopened given the aforesaid mitigating circumstances, or consider making an appeal to the Crown Court?     

Your fine should have been calculated as one week's net income, capped at £1,000 (the maximum for the offence), then a third off for your guilty plea.

Perhaps Im completely mistaken, but when asking for the case to be reopened under s142, shouldn't the OP be asking the court to follow the sentencing guidelines which say that if a COFP was not taken up because of reasons not connected with the offence, they should be fined at the same level as the COFP?

Or is the problem here that the OP has no evidence that he tried to take up the COFP offer?

Any advice on the point ManxTom has raised would be greatly appreciated as this will be my starting point on the request to reopen the case pursuant to s142 of the Magistrates Court Act 1980, in the interests of justice being served? My second point will be that as per the Sentencing Council guidelines, ref slapdash and NewJudge, I should have been entitled to 1/3 off the max fine of £1000 imposed as I had plead guilty to the SJP.

Just one more question if I may? Should a Failure to Provide Information charge been listed on the SJPN I received? I ask this on the basis that the Police claim they never received my driving licence details and as a result they proceeded with the SJP. When I spoke to HMCTS earlier today to check the status of my request to reopen the case, they mentioned the Police would normally proceed with a Failure to Provide Information charge when deciding to prosecute a SJP in cases where information is not received from the defendant. Or, are they getting mixed up with the NIP procedure, which I was issued in the first place, and complied with which resulted in the Fixed Penalty offer being made?

I'm considered a relatively high earner, in the 40% tax bracket. I provided full transparency on my earnings in the submitted SJP guilty plea. This is the reason the Court admin gave on why the fine was so high when I questioned why I had received the maximum fine for a relatively minor speeding offence (band B) with no prior endorsements on my licence.

Nevertheless, based on the advice given above, I will be bringing up the fact that I should have been entitled to a 33% reduction in fine as I had plead guilty to the SP30 offence in the SJP as a further argument on why my case should be reopened in the interests of justice. 


Thanks for the advice once again. I wrote to the Court where I was convicted last week requesting the case be reopened pursuant to Section 142 of the Magistrates Courts Act 1980. I sent the letter by recorded delivery this time - I will never again assume that documentation that has been requested, has actually been received and processed by the courts and their offices accordingly - this is the one lesson that I and others should learn from dealing with the justice system relating to road traffic offences.

I await the outcome of my request to reopen the case and take onboard the advice to insist on a court hearing in front of a Magistrate to make my case.

Thanks for the advice. if I may add to the mitigating circumstances, on the day I was notified of the £1,490 fine, surcharge, and costs by email, within an hour of reading that email notification, I suffered a stroke and was rushed to hospital where I spent 6 weeks recovering before being discharged. I am left partly paralysed down my left-side and still recovering. I believe the shock of the level of fine imposed contributed to my stroke, however, I will never be able to prove that. While I was hospitalised it was my wife who was dealing with the authorities and fighting off the enforcement people. She was advised by the Single Justice Service to submit a Statutory Declaration.

As mentioned, in the returned SJP plea I explained that I had already received a fixed penalty for the offence that I had complied with. It would appear this info was disregarded at the time of the SJP was heard and then it took until yesterday, almost 8 months from when the SJP was issued, to get explanation of why the SJP had been issued.



Hi folks,

Looking for some advice on my legal matter please.

In May 2023 I received a fixed penalty notice from the Met Police of £100 for driving 34 mph in a 20 mph speed limit in South London. I paid the £100 fine and returned my driving licence details in the form provided by post within the time limits of the fixed penalty offer and considered the matter closed.

in Sep 2023 I received a SJP asking me to make a plea of guilty or not guilty to the same speeding offence that I had been sent the fixed penalty offer for in May. I returned the SJP, pleading guilty to the speeding offence, as I was guilty of speeding, and explained that I had already fully complied with the fixed penalty offer in May and asking for an explanation on why I had been issued with the SJP. I was refunded the £100 fixed penalty at end of Sep and on 10th Oct 2023 I received a fine collection order informing me that I had been fined £1,000, £400 victim support surcharge, and £90 costs, OUCH!

After several months corresponding with the Magistrates Courts involved, enforcement agency and making a Statutory Declaration that I was later informed I was not eligible for, I have finally received an explanation from the prosecuting Courts' Admin office after 8 months on the reason why a SJP was issued against me. That is, the Police claim that they did not receive the details of my driving licence and as a result they proceeded with the SJP. Unfortunately, I do not have a copy of the form where I entered my driving licence details and posted to the return address.

What recourse do I have to have my case reopened on the grounds that a SJP should never been issued as I had fully complied the fixed penalty offer by paying the £100 penalty and providing my driving licence details within the time limits of the offer? Does the onus fall to me to provide proof that the driving licence form was returned?  I understand that there is guidance that the Court can follow in such cases where a penalty notice could not be offered or taken up for reasons unconnected with the offence itself, such as administrative difficulties outside the control of the offender, the starting point should be a fine equivalent to the amount of the penalty and no order of costs should be imposed.

Any useful advice on this matter would be appreciated as I am keen to understand how best to proceed and seek closure to a situation that was beyond my control.


Seeking Justice

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