Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Woman faces trial over apple core ...

A woman is to stand trial at crown court for allegedly throwing an apple core out of her car window.
Kate Badger, from Cornwall Road in Tettenhall, Wolverhampton, refused to pay a £60 on-the-spot fine after the alleged incident in March last year.

More here

So now a Registered Keeper of a vehicle is to be legally responsible for any alleged contravention by a passenger?
If it is the case that the incident was witnessed and a registration number noted then what evidence is there that the registered keeper was the alleged offender?

When you nominate yourself to be the registered keeper of a vehicle should the DVLA not inform you that you will now be legally and financially responsible for any civil contraventions committed by any other user (or passenger in cases like this) of that vehicle?


The Englishman said...

I read the charge on "failing to provide information" as relating to pollution laws rather than traffic ones - it seems if the council suspect you know something about a pollution incident then you have to tell them all or be prosecuted. These jackboots come in green colour as well as black and yellow.

El Chig said...

It seems that council-issued littering tickets require the same burden of proof as motoring offences: the Registered Keeper is guilty until proven innocent.

They are pursuing her for failing to identify the alleged criminal who threw the biodegradable core out her car window. Ergo, she is considered guilty unless she identifies the culprit.

I doubt the council will risk this going to trial. A not guilty verdict will mean they actually have to prove guilt in subsequent cases. And we wouldn't want that in a democracy, would we?

-- Iain

Anonymous said...

How on earth did we let ourselves get to this state of affairs for pete's sake?

David said...

Under what law is it illegal to throw away an apple core? The Roman Empire was destroyed through such stupidity and now we're following suit. It's not litter! Apple cores have fallen ever since the second page of the bible! Should we prosecute Isaac Newton in postuum? (Or was it someone else who invented gravity?)

Anonymous said...

It's no different to dealing with the council on other matters.

For instance, the house owner is responsible for the census form, and if the house owner claims housing benefit or suchlike then they're obliged to ask anyone living in the house - even a lodger - for proof of earnings. It's the house owner's responsibility, not the earner's responsibility, and the councils aren't set up to let you work as a team.

For instance, the house owner passes the message to the relatives or lodgers living in the house. Those relatives/lodgers then communicate their private information directly to the council. The council then sends it to the house owner, without permission under the DPA.

Councillors are the same. They assume everyone living in the same property has no privacy or boundaries, so obviously cars are the same.

In short, it's the way modern governments - both Conservative and Labour - do things. Make one person responsible and hound them until they're so scared they'll conform.

No different to using student loans companies to round up, like sheep or cattle, students who won't be interested in registering themselves on the ID database, or using doctors to force people into work, or the Citizens Advice Bureau to stop people's benefits.

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