Sunday, March 06, 2011

When the scales of justice start to tip ...

It sometimes takes a lot for the British public to reach tipping point but when they do they will come together to ensure that unfairness and injustice is corrected and the 'balance' restored.

The last time the Scales of Justice were 'tipped' was when Steve Thoburn had his scales seized. Now we are witnessing the same undercurrent amongst the disparate groups and motorists across the land.

The injustice suffered by pensioner Peter Harry will be 'corrected' by the collective coming together of the British motoring public to ensure that justice is seen to be done in the most high profile and public of fashions. Let us hope that the various agencies responsible for ensuring the correct and legal behaviour act expediently and in a transparent fashion and don't abrogate THEIR responsibility.

Remember that the sums involved in parking enforcement make the MPs expenses scandal seem like small change.

Anger at sentence for ex-council man
This is Exeter
By Tom Bevan

A COUNCILLOR has branded the sentencing of a parking official who admitted forging documents as "unduly lenient"."

Geoffrey Urwin, 43, who worked at Exeter City Council as a parking support team leader, doctored a map that was presented to a traffic penalty tribunal after motorist Peter Harry appealed against a ticket he had been given.

As revealed in the Echo, Urwin, of Oxford Road, St James, pleaded guilty to a charge of wilful misconduct at Exeter Crown Court and was given an absolute discharge by Judge Graham Cottle, the Recorder of Exeter.

But the judge's decision has sparked fury, with Cllr Percy Prowse, who helped initiate the original investigation, saying he had written to the police asking if there were grounds for appeal.
And the victim Mr Harry, 67, who lives in Dawlish, said he was "astounded" by the judge's leniency.

Before Urwin entered his plea, Judge Cottle spoke of his disbelief that the case had ever reached the crown court in the first place. "The CPS lawyer spent hours on this case? I wonder whether that was money well spent," the judge said.

But his comments sparked anger from Mr Harry who said: "I am astounded by this decision especially when he said this case should never have been brought to the Crown Court. I don't know where else it could go.

"All the suffering I have gone through to get to this point but you cannot even say this is a slap on the wrist. He got nothing.

"I am livid and disgusted with what went on. He should have heard the case. He did not ask for an explanation."

Exeter city councillor Percy Prowse, who is also a former police officer, said: "I was sat in the back of the court and could not believe what I heard the judge say. He said he did not understand the case and could not work out why it was in front of him.

"He seemed to trivialise the facts and appeared to make light of the offence. I was a police officer for 30 years and if I had forged or falsified a document that would have resulted in the conviction of an innocent member of the public that same judge would have understood quite clearly what the offence was. That would be no different to a public official of Exeter City Council who did exactly that.

"I have since written to the police asking if the CPS would consider an appeal against an unduly lenient sentence.

"The message this sends out to the public is that if an official does such a thing, when they are found out they get nothing more than a slap on the wrist. Public trust in public figures is at rock bottom and things like this will mean it stays down the bottom."


Sniggles said...

Disgraceful! Especially as when you appeal against a parking ticket we are often regaled with a chorus of "Ah but the law's the law"

Pete said...

I can't say that I am surprised. I live in the London Borough of Havering and have successfully appealed a number of parking tickets where the local authority refused to accept my representations and blatantly lied. For example saying that I must remain with the vehicle when sopping in a restricted area to pick up a passenger. The PTAS disagreed with them and cancelled teh ticket but failed every time to punish them for lying. It seems that it is the norm for them to lie and cheat rather than cancel a ticket abd admit their error.

nedmac said...

I have e-mailed the Attorney General's Office and asked that a reveiw of this sentence be carried out.

What an absolute disgrace. One law for them and another for us.

This is wrong and we have to make our voice heard.

rdandkballard said...

Besides the basic position that the underlying fraudulent document produced by a public servant is is a blatant attempt to pervert the course of justice, the question springs to mind as to whether the Judge should remain in office if he is incompetent.

So many "public" officials hide behind the "fabric of their appointment" and are not accountable. Surely this should result in a complaint to the Ministry of Justice in order not only to have the case reviewed but for the Judge to be re-examined not only as to his competence (as he is paid for from the public purse) but as to whether he should remain in employment!

Cleone said...

This is utterly disgusting, this man does not deserve to be in the job of a Judge. If we cannot trust a Judge to uphold the law just who on earth can we trust. The article does not say if the pensioner got his fine repayed to him and an apology, I guess he didnt. Something definately needs to be done about this.

Anonymous said...

What the judge probably meant was that the case should have been dealt with in a lower, i.e. Magistrates, court. What this shows in my opinion is that ordinary citizens do not have a right to justice in this country. When the police refused to do anything against someone who offended against me I said I would take out a private prosecution. The police said they would get the CPS to take it over and then when it reached the Crown Court they would simply not offer any evidence and the case would fail. A solicitor confirmed this. Look at what happened to the police officer and forensic scientist who stitched up Steven Kisco - nothing!

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