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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Section 27 Violent Crime Reduction ActHi,On Saturday

Resolved Question:

Section 27 Violent Crime Reduction Act Hi, On Saturday evening I was travelling home on a train from Sheffield to London (where I live) when an incident took place which involved me being kicked off the train at a station in the midlands. At the station I was served with a direction to leave the locality of the station for seven hours (the notice was issued around 7.30pm). I left the station and returned after an hour at which point I was arrested and spent a night in the cells. The next morning I was charged with a violation of section 27 and bailed to appear in court next month. Whilst I have no argument that I was drunk, behaving appallingly and returned to the locality that I was instructed to stay away from I feel that the notice was incorrectly issued as; Fundamentally – section 27 (4) of the Act says; “(4) A constable may not give a direction under this section that prevents the individual to whom it is given— (a) from having access to a place where he resides;” Given that there was literally no other way at that time of night for me to get home to London from the Midlands other than the train then denying me access to the station clearly precluded me from accessing the place where I reside. I still have a copy of my train ticket which lists the return destination as “London” so I can prove that I definitely didn’t intend to stay within the designated locality and was on my way back to the “place where I reside”. I could also use the defence that I was drunk so didn’t fully understand the order, which is probably true, also the police are supposed to issue a map of the locality from which you are banned – they didn’t in my case however I think that the fact that the effect of the order in this instance was to stop me accessing the place where I reside is compelling enough as issuing orders which have this effect are specifically prohibited by 27 (4) (a).

All in all, I guess my question is – given the above is there a chance that the CPS will decide not to prosecute? If the CPS do decide to prosecute could I have a reasonable defence based on section 27 (4) (a) ? Given that this is a non-recordable offence is it worth fighting it or should I just accept the fine as an expensive lesson learned ? I don't have a solicitor and I doubt I'd qualify for legal aid so any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.
Alex Watts :

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.

Alex Watts :

From having access to to a place he resides means a home.

Alex Watts :

Therefore if you lived in a cul-de-sac and an officer said you are excluded from here, then that is impossible.

Alex Watts :

Here it is a train station

Alex Watts :

There are alternative means home, ie bus or taxi

Alex Watts :

Therefore the notice is not defective and you do not have a defence in that regard

Alex Watts :

There is a chance the CPS will decide not to prosecute if they do not think it is in the public interest

Alex Watts :

However in reality you do not have a defence, nor an excuse.

Alex Watts :

It was an hour into the ban, rather than at the end. This would tend to show a disregard of the notice.

Alex Watts :

But in reality it is a minor offence and you should not worry about it

Alex Watts :

If you fight it and lose then the costs are likely to be £400+

Alex Watts :

I am sorry if this is not the answer you want and certainly not the one I want to give you, but I have a duty to be honest

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer: No need to apologise - I very much appreciate the advice you have given. If the CPS decide not to prosecute how will I be made aware ? Are there magistrates guidelines for this offence ? I'm trying to figure out what the likely fine is if I plead guilty in the first instance (which I think I now will).
Customer: can I also confirm that this is a "non recordable" offence as it doesn't carry a risk of a custodial sentence and it isn't on the proscribed list of recordable offences ?
Alex Watts :

The CPS will write and say no further action.

Alex Watts :

There is no specific guideline for this, it would just be a fine

Alex Watts :

If its non recordable then you wont go to prison at all.

Alex Watts :

Its not on the DBS non filtered offences either so you dont need to worry about that.

Alex Watts :

Does that help?

Customer: Very much so thank you, ***** ***** as to the likely fine ?
Alex Watts :

Maximum is £2,500 but it wont be anywhere near that. Probably less than £250

Customer: Ok - thank you for the advice, a rather expensive Saturday night out.
Alex Watts :

Indeed.

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