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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71133
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I have requested the following documentation and information

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I have requested the following documentation and information from the Police concerning a drink driving charge -

• A transcript or detailed note of the original call reporting this matter to the Police
• A transcript or detailed note of any other calls to the Police relating to this matter
• A copy of the attending Police Officers Pocket Notebook entries
• A copy of the Arresting Officers handwritten notes
• A copy of the Interviewing Officers handwritten notes
• A copy of all handwritten Police Officers notes
• A copy of all/any Witness Statements
• A copy of any CCTV footage
• A copy of the Custody Record papers
• A copy of the Taped Interview
• A transcript of the Taped Interview
• A transcript of any other conversations separate from the Taped Interview
• Copies of any and all information relating to this matter held on the Police Records and Casefile

Could you please tell me if I have a legal entitlement to receive all this. If not - can you please confirm which of these I am legally entitled to. Thank you

Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

Are you the subject of the charge?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

No its my 21 year old niece and I have been accepted by the Magistrates Court as her McKenzie Friend (her mum collapsed in front of her last October and died from a brain haemorrhage - leaving 4 kids and she's now in charge as dad is useless). We got the CPS papers but these were typed summaries and the case has been adjourned until 3rd March for us to get papers and full legal advice. Her car is an important element of her job and her sanctuary away from home so I'm doing my best for her.

Any ideas would be gratefuly appreciated. Thank you


There's no such thing as a McKenzie friend in the Magistrates Court. They are for civil courts.

What do you expect this particular evidence to show?

You would have got anything that they rely upon in initial disclosure at the Magistrates Court?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I note your comments regarding McKenzie Friend.


I do not know what I expect this evidence to show but it has been suggested to me that I should obtain everything I can before getting legal advice.

So my question is - what - out of the information I have requested - is she legally entitled to?


They actually might let you assist her in court. They do what they like at the Magistrates Court. I don't go very much anymore but its literally worse than military court martials which can be convened in a tent at a battle scene! I've never known such a DIY tribunal.

On your main point though, she's not entitled to any of it but you can maximise disclosure.

The procedure is that the Crown serve anything that they rely upon at the first appearance.

If a defendant wants access to anything else then they have to serve a defence statement setting out their defence. You don't have to do that at the Magistrates Court but its compulsory at the Crown Court.

If a defence statement is served then CPS should consider it and disclose anything in their possession which assists your defence or undermines the Crown's case. In fairness, their integrity can generally be relied upon to do that. They have a statutory duty to comply and I haven't seen too many cases of failure. Obviously there are certain people who give rise to doubts about their integrity but they are very few in number.

Obviously not all of what you request may be disclosable using that test but the first two points above are just the CAD messages which are easy enough for them to get and they probably would be disclosed if only on the morning of trial.

What you need to do to have sight of the handwritten notes is fully bind them to attend trial. Then they should bring their hand written notes and you can view them if you can read them. I have never been able to and I have to say that I would be delighted if they typed them up. Mostly they don't now.

You should have been given witness statements in the initial disclosure.

CCTV will only be served in response to a defence statement if any exists unless the Crown rely upon it.

The taped interview is probably available for you to collect at a police station now unless she was given a copy of the tape as she left the station.

There is no prospect of a ROTI. They have long since stopped typing transcripts save for very serious offences.

The custody record can be printed off fairly easily so they probably would disclose it.

I'm not sure what you mean by the last two?

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you need more information.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Can you please confirm what CAD and ROTI stand for. Thank you.


I note your comments regarding disclosure if a defence statament is served. In view of the charge - what sort of defence statement could be put forward?

CADs are a record of the 999 call.

ROTI refers to record of tape interview.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I note your comments regarding disclosure if a defence statement is served. In view of the charge - what sort of defence statement could be put forward?

Well, it depends on her defence.

If this is a case of putting them to proof then you can serve a DS saying that but you probably won't get any disclosure.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I'm not sure that she can put forward a defence.


She's about 5' 4" - weighs about 9 stone - hadn't eaten that day (nor possibly the day before - eatings been up the creek since mum died)


She finished work at about 7pm and went to the pub. Her & 2 others bought a 75cl bottle of Rose to share - she had 2 glasses with lemonade (the bottle wasn't finished) and then drove home.


She had been travelling for about an hour when - as she was overtaking a vehicle on the Motorway - the January heavy winds caught her and she was sucked (her words) into the central barrier - she held control but clipped the vehicle she was overtaking in the process. She could see no safe place to stop so continued to a petrol station. The TP thought she wasn't going to stop so called the Police. 9.40pm - She stopped at the petrol station and exchanged details with the TP. Police arrived & she failed the roadside breathalyser test. She was taken to the Police station where she gave a reading of 80 (which she was amazed by after only 2 glasses of wine).


These are the facts surrounding the matter but is this a defence - considering she did fail the breathalyser so was over the limit.


No, it's not a defence.

On what basis is she pleading not guilty? This would seem to be a guilty plea
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Sorry for confusing things - that is my point - I can't see that she can plead not guilty - in the circumstances.


Therefore presumably no DS can be served which if I've understood you correctly - is the only way she would be able to possibly obtain further documents/information from the Police - other than the Custody record and Taped Interview.

To sum up - my understanding is - she can only request further Disclosure if she pleads not guilty.


It would seem she will have to plead guilty - but can these facts be put forward as mitigating circumstances?


Will they be of any help?


Or will they just wind the Court up?


She may lose her job over this as driving is an important element of her role - so may face extreme hardship. Obviously I'm also concerned for her mental well being as I know she uses her car to escape from the stresses of home life that have now been placed upon her since her mum died.





Yes, I agree.

She can only request further disclosure if she pleads not guilty. She can plead not guilty and put the Crown to prove but then you can't assert a defence in a defence case statement and so you would not get anything from the Crown that undermines their case or assist yours.

A guilty plea would seem the right thing to do. The fact that you mention are not really mitigating ones.

The fact that she will lose her job is a mitigating feature to the extent that the mandatory ban that will be imposed falls particularly heavily upon her and so the court can consider that when imposing other sentences. I
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks for your reply.

I wasn't sure if anything was missing from your reply as there is an 'I' at the end after 'sentences' but nothing more.



No, thats my dictation software defaulting!

No problem and all the best.

Remember that I am always available to help with your questions. Even if I am in Court I will usually pick up a question within 12 hours. For future information, please start your question with ‘For Jo C’. You can also bookmark my profile

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Could you just confirm - would her mental well being also be considered as a mitigating feature to be taken into consideration by the courts when imposing their sentence (Ban).

Not really but it would impact upon what community order would be appropriate.

It won't come to that anyway. It will probably be a fine.
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