I was wrongly accused of using a mobile phone when driving by the police.

Four years ago, as I made my way to work, I was flagged down and pulled over traffic by two police in a 4x4 using sirens and flashing lights, etc.. They asked me to leave my vehicle and get in the back of theirs. I could only presume I had been speeding. It was very intimidating. They told me an unmarked car had filmed me using my mobile phone whilst driving. My phone was somewhere in the bottom of a very full handbag on the passenger seat of the car. I denied using it and handed it over for inspection. There were no incoming calls that day and only one outgoing, made forty minutes previously and before starting my journey. They remained adamant that I was guilty and I was told I would be fined £60 and three points on my licence. On protesting, I was told I could take the case to court, but when found guilty would have to pay a much greater fine together with costs.

To cut a long story short, I decided to deny the charge and go to court. I had to make two court appearances in Halifax, where the alleged offence took place, at which point the case was dismissed because the police were unable to provide any evidence 'due to technical faults'. The proceedings were stretched out over a year and caused me much anxiety and distress as I was worried that some sort of photographic evidence had been concocted. What a waste of police and court time. Presumably the cost to the taxpayer is more than balanced by the fines paid by innocent parties who don't have the time and money to challenge the police. However, the loss of trust and respect for the police by the taxpayer is immeasurable.

Asked on 23 February 2013 by LM, Ilkley

Answered by Honest John
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