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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71050
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I was invited, by telephone, to an interview by the local PC

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I was invited, by telephone, to an interview by the local PC regarding criminal damage ( I had removed a concrete bollard that was obstructing my right of way). I asked if I could bring anyone with me, the PC said no. I asked who else would be at the interview, she said another PC. She insisted I could not have anyone with me so I asked if I could bring a solicitor. At this she said "You can if you want.". I asked what if I did not want to attend for interview. She said " Oh, I'll just summons you then." Very threatening. So I took a solicitor.
At the interview I was interviewed 'under caution' a total shock to my system.
During the interview the I asked for a break, the two Pcs left the room (Removing the cd from the tape machine.)
On their return later in the interview the PC said "Oh. I forgot to ask you to sign the label. Will you sign it now?" I signed it as was very afraid and worried and had been told to cooperate.
The interview took place in an 8ft by 5ft room with no window and no ventilation with 4 adults in the room. It was a very hot day in September, forgive me but as an example of how hot it was, my solicitor left a pool of sweat on his chair. I was in this room for two hours.
Also, at the end of the interview there was no conclusion so I had no idea what was to happen.
36 days after the interview the PC arrived at my door and said "Have you spoken to your solicitor ? "
I asked "Why?"
The PC said "I forgot to tell you that you will be summonsed, I have rung your solicitor and asked him to to inform you."
I believe the PC is a friend and work colleague of one of the witnesses.
The PC has been extremely bullying and sarcastic on all contacts with me.
Does the signing incident invalidate the cd as evidence?
Does the delay in informing me have any procedural implications ?
I believe I am to be summonsed for criminal damage but I have not yet recieved a summons. I intend to defend myself.
I will plead the defence of
1. ...lawful excuse
2. ... to protect property belonging to himself or another or a right or interest in property
Under section 5 of the Criminal Damage Act 1971
Also to use case law precedent of Chamberlain v Lindon an appeal in the High Court March 1998
The right of way had been in existence over 100 years and is over a private road (not adopted) fronting our row of houses.
The bollard had been in place approx. 2 years. We, the private road residents, had been trying to persuade the person, the police and the council to remove the bollard, over this time.
My decision to remove the bollard was prompted when a new larger car I had purchased was damaged when I tried to drive down the road passed the bollard., and felt the obstruction for this length of time was reaching a stage were we could be deemed to have acquiesced to the obstruction. Also other vehicles (eg a funeral cortege) were refusing to manoeuvre past the obstruction.
1. Is the Chamberlain case a 'citable precedent'?
2. Would the prosecution be justified in stating 'no immediacy for action needed'? In the case above the wall demolished had ben up 18 months, I think.
3. Are there any other things they might decide to charge me with.

1 No. It is a civil case.

2 Yes, this isn't an urgent matter.

3 Not on these facts. If you removed a bollard then that is criminal damage. It is theft i suppose if you didn't return it but that is not really what they allege here.

The signing is a non issue.

There is no delay here. This is not a delay case. There has been no delay.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What about the defence under Section 5 Crim Damage 1971. "Lawful excuse". I was protecting my property.
The act says "For the purposes of this act it is immaterial whether a belief is justified or not if it is honestly believed."The judge in the case cited says - 49. "It is unnecessary to reach a conclusion as to whether the respondent's self-help was justified as a matter of civil law .... because the appellant chose to take proceedings in the criminal courts."The private road belongs to us. Are you saying someone can erect a concrete bollard in the middle of your driveway and you cannot remove it?

Thank you.

You have left a negative rating.

I will be delighted to continue with this if that was a mistake.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It was a mistake I have just joined / found this site in the last 45 mins.Have you seen my subsequent questions?Do I have to pay £44 to have a telecon or does my membership / free trial cover this ? I have found it confusing to know what I have signed up for and how much I am paying and when. I am working my way through the FAQs


You will need to email customer services about that as Im never involved in billing. you can get them on***@******.***

I have seen your subsequent question but you have left a negative rating.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
This system asked me what I wanted to query with you which is why I sent the subsequent questions. I suppose I cannot give a rating until we have completed. Which from your initial answers I thought we had, until prompted to ask further questions by this system. My apologies if this has created problems, I do not know yet how to change this rating but I will endeavour to find out.I will as you suggested contact customer services as you suggested. Thank you.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am sorry Jo C. I cannot contact Customer Sevices by telephone their office hours begin Monday a.m. I have sent them an email but their auto response says "allow 4 days for reply". I will ring them tomorrow and ask about changing the rating.By the way I am an OAP and this is my first ever dealings with the police and am extremely upset and anxious about this. I do not believe I have done anything wrong and do not want to be branded a criminal.Thank you for your help.

No problem.

Let me know if I can help.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Good afternoon, I have spoken to the Cus. Serv. as promised.I have placed a new rating, following their instructions. If this has not worked they have given instrucions on how to generate a further request for a rating. These instructions are appended below."Additionally, if you'd like to provide the Expert with a satisfactory rating, you will need to return to your question page and submit a rating of either OK, Good or Excellent service. If there is no option to leave a new rating, please reply to the Expert on the question page letting them know that you'd like to offer a different rating and ask that they re-post their answer so that you may do so"Once again thank you for your initial assistance and response.

Ok. Can I help any further?

Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have given you a rating on a number of emails now, I think thy may be different but none were negative.
Another expert has advised that I can reference the Chamberlain v lindon case. As I said the Judge talked about the appellant proceeding in the 'criminal courts'. What do you think?1. Is there another case were Section 5 Crim. Damage Act 1971 - "lawful excuse" "to protect the property or rights to.."
Was successfully used?2. How can you chop off branches overhanging your property and not be charged with criminal damage?3. This private road is much more like the driveway to the properties fronting it.4. If I truly believed what I was doing was lawful and necessary to protect my property and / or rights, which I did. What are the prosecution likely to try to present to discredit this defence?5. Will they try to paint me as some kind of thuggish vandal?I hope you are still prepared to assist.Regards

1 Yes, lawful excuse is a defence written into the statute. Protecting property would be lawful excuse although obviously it turns on facts.

2 Because that is a self remedy in civil law and is exempt because you would have lawful excuse.

3 Not sure what you mean?

4 Well, they will probably try to argue that you were not protecting property. Or that you went over the top. The latter is easier to raise.

5 They may well do that.