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james bruce
james bruce, Solicitor-Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 3712
Experience:  Owner at James Bruce Solicitors
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My partner has a trial tomorrow for riding an off road bike

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My partner has a trial tomorrow for riding an off road bike on the road. He's innocent and we have a lot of evidence that he is. Will the judge always believe the police officer?
JA: Have any charges been filed? If so, when is the next court date?
Customer: Yes they have. 23rd February
JA: Where did this occur?
Customer: In Brotton,near Saltburn
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Nothing
Customer: replied 7 days ago.
We have proof that the bike wasn't running at the time because we still have the parts here sent from America, we have a statement from the person we bought the bike from and we have receipts.
Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Also she seized the bike and didn't give any seizure notice for him to try and retrieve his bike. We still have no idea where it is and this happened in may last year.

Hello, I hope you are well. My name is***** am a solicitor advocate and I will be assisting you with your question today. I am very sorry to hear of the problem you are experiencing and I will do my best to help you with this matter.

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Thank you. It's been very stressful. Our solicitor has just told us that most judges believe the police officer!
Customer: replied 7 days ago.
I'm sorry I don't have that kind of money right now. Can we type?
Customer: replied 7 days ago.
The officer keeps asking for a V5 to get the bike back, obviously we don't have that because it's an off road vehicle. His grandfather has a lot of land for him to ride the bike on and he was pushing it from out house to the farm. She said he was riding it, that's not the case at all.

​The magistrates or District Judge if sitting alone, will hear all the evidence from both the prosecution and also from the defence.

The police are clearly going to br the main prosecution witness.

The defence, that will be your partner plus any other witness that is giving evidence for him. The defence should also produce the witness statement or call the person who sold the bike as a witness. Although all they could really say is that when they sold the bike it may not have been working, that does not mean it was not going at a later date.

Having spare parts for a bike again does not mean that the bike was not seen running, but can help give a picture that it was not working because the new parts had yet to be fitted.

Ultimately, the court would then decide based on what they hear in court, which account to believe, the police or your partner.

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
I have the spare parts here, the bike can't run without them. They were sent from America on the 27/04/20 the bike was taken 13/05/20 they hadn't arrived. They aren't just spares, they're petrol reeds to take petrol in to the engine. Plus an exhaust spring that I still have here too and the receipt.
Customer: replied 7 days ago.
What about her not giving a seizure notice?

Then your partners solicitor need to raise this fact during the trial as part of the defence evidence.

He can also ask for a copy of the seizure notice.

You can also complain to the chief constables office regarding the officers failure to supply a notice.

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
He has all the evidence ready but can't use our witness he said. He made a statement to say he saw my partner pushing the bike but they won't use it because he can't come to court. He's shielding! Surely that's not our fault. There is no seizure notice I will make a complaint.

If the witness has made a statement, then the defence can ask the court for a witness summons to compel the witness to attend to give evidence.

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
He can't, he's shielding. So his statement is useless

If the prosecution and defence can agree for the statement to be read out in court as a s.9 statement, then it can be read out in court as evidence. If the prosecution will not agree to this and the witness is vital, then the defence should request an adjournment until the witness can attend court, or give evidence via video link.

The defence should have considered all of this earlier.

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
He didn't get his shielding letter till well after this all happened.

Well that is the advice I can give as above. The trial and case is your partners, the solicitor must do as instructed. Tell hm to attempt to have the statement admitted as a s.9 read out statement.

Otherwise request adjournment for witness either in person or via video.

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
He doesn't have the type of phone to do a video link, he's 66 years old
Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Also we don't want it adjourned, it's been a long time

Then in that case the trail will continue. If convicted, you would not be able to use the fact the witness was not there for grounds to appeal, as the request to adjourn would not have been made, that is your partners choice.

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
But he can still appeal for other things? Like not giving a seizure notice and having proof from the previous owner it needed it's engine rebuilding

The seizure notice is not relevant to his trial for using the bike on a road. That is a separate admin matter to raise with the police.

The evidence form the previous owner would be used in his trial, if the court choice not to believe that version then that is that.

Your partner really should be chasing his defence lawyer to see exactly how and what they are going to be doing and using as evidence in court. From what you have explained it appears your partner has little idea exactly what his defence team are planning to do.

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
We don't know what's going on no, they've been less than helpful to be honest and I feel we have wasted £480 for them to represent him. The previous owner has sent me messages stating the bike needed a full engine rebuild and he sold it to my partner as a non runner. That was a week before the bike was taken he sold him it. He then ordered the parts from America as I say and one came the day before, which I have here intact and one came a few days after it was taken. I can't find that part but I have the receipt that came with it showing the despatch date. They aren't spares, they're necessary for the bike to work.
Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Sorry that didn't make sense, he'd only had the bike a week before it was seized.

I understand, really I cannot advise further to what I have already done.

I have given all the advice that can be applied to this matter, it is now up to the lawyer to do his job in court.

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Let's hope he does! Can I do anything about getting my money back if he doesn't?

If you loose, that does not mean a refund, a court will either believe him or not.

If you think the lawyer did not work and represent professionally then you can complaint the firm and the legal ombudsman.

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
One more question. Can we get the bike back with the proof of ownership? We bought it off eBay.

If you have purchased the bike you do not need to prove it is your to get it back.

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
She keeps asking for a V5 to get it back which she should know you can't get for an off road bike. What do we do there?

Your partner needs to inform the officer it is an off road bike not requiring a v5.

Get your lawyer to write to them explaining the law.

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
That's all in with the evidence anyway so it should be brought up in court. We won't have to pay the fees will we? Because she took it knowing it didn't need a V5? Surely it should be returned to us without any costs.

If released he will need to collect it.

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
That's not a problem

Thank you for using Just Answer and for allowing me to assist you with your legal enquiry. I am pleased I was able to be of assistance. Please do not hesitate to come back to me for further advice on this or any other legal matter. It will be my pleasure to be able to assist you again.

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