The Court of Appeal has recently considered an appeal against the imposition of a sixteen months term of disqualification by a motorist who had pleaded guilty to an offence of doing an act ‘tending and intended to pervert the course of justice’ but who had not been prosecuted for driving related offences. 

Helen Holder of Kangs Solicitors explains the circumstances of the case.

Kangs Solicitors has been successfully defending motorists charged with all manner of offences for over twenty years and, in so doing, has assisted many clients to retain their driving licence.

Recognised as one of the leading criminal defence firms in the country, we are ranked in the highest category of law firms by both the leading directories for the legal profession, the Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners. 

Kangs Solicitors has been awarded Criminal Law Firm of the Year by the Legal 500 and individual solicitors in the firm are regularly recognised for their expertise.

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The Circumstances | Kangs Motoring Law Solicitors

  • In November 2019 a motorist sadly died having been hit by more than one vehicle as he lay in the road.  
  • One of the vehicles was identified by witnesses as a Peugeot belonging to the Appellant, who subsequently informed the police that his wife had been driving the vehicle at the time of the incident.  
  • The wife, having confirmed her husband’s statement, was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving.
  • CCTV obtained from neighbouring property revealed that the Appellant had, contrary to the statement made to the police, both departed from and returned to the home in the vehicle alone. 
  • Accordingly, the Appellant was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving, and his wife arrested on suspicion of perverting the course of justice. 
  • The Appellant subsequently admitted that whilst driving alone, he hit something on the road which he thought was debris but discovered that it was a body which, according to onlookers, had previously been hit by a lorry.
  • The Appellant panicked and returned home where his wife agreed that she would say that she was driving to protect the Appellant from the risk of losing his HGV Driving Licence. 

The Court Proceedings | Stafford Crown Court | Kangs Criminal Solicitors

Stafford Crown Court

  • At Stafford Crown Court, the Appellant and his wife both pleaded guilty to ‘doing an act tending or intended to pervert the course of justice’. 
  • The wife was sentenced to six months imprisonment suspended for twelve months. 
  • The Appellant received an immediate eight months custodial sentence and was disqualified from driving for sixteen months.

The Court of Appeal

  • The Appellant appealed against the driving disqualification claiming that it was unnecessary, unjustified and excessive when taking into account that he had not, in respect of this incident, been prosecuted for driving related offences. 
  • The Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal and highlighted Section 163 of the Sentencing Act 2020 stating this legislation:

confers the necessary power, is entirely open ended; and there is no statutory requirement as a matter of jurisdiction for a direct link between the offending in question and disqualification, although ordinarily the court no doubt will look for some link between the criminality and the driving or use of a vehicle’

  • In essence the Court of Appeal reiterated the power of the Sentencing Judge to disqualify an offender from driving for such period as thought appropriate whether the offence is connected to the use of a vehicle or not.  
  • In this Case it is to be noted that the Appellant’s offending did have a link to driving, given that he had not behaved properly at the scene of the incident and he also had relevant previous driving convictions. 

How Can We Help You? | Kangs Motoring Offences Defence Solicitors

It is essential that if you anticipate any court proceedings against you for any alleged offence, including those involving motoring offences, you consult a specialist solicitor to represent you.  

Our team provides support which includes:

Who Can I Contact For Help? | Kangs Criminal Defence Solicitors

We welcome enquiries by telephone or email.

We provide an initial no obligation consultation from our offices in London, Birmingham and Manchester.

Alternatively, we provide initial consultations by telephone or video conferencing.

Contact:

Suki Randhawa
srandhawa@kangssolicitors.co.uk
0121 449 9888 | 020 7936 6396 | 07989 521210 (24/7 Rapid Response)

Helen Holder
hholder@kangssolicitors.co.uk
0121 449 9888 | 020 7936 6396

Amandeep Murria
amurria@kangssolicitors.co.uk
0161 817 5020 | 020 7936 6396