Mr Loophole Strikes Again . . . .

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Re: Pedestrians forced to wear reflectives?

Postby thirdcrank » Sat Jun 07, 2014 4:08 pm

Looking at it down the other end of the spyglass, here's a loophole case involving cyclists, but not involving Mr Loophole however.

A posse of police issued tickets to a lot of cyclists for cycling on a footpath "boooo!" but they were all withdrawn because of a gaping loophole: they weren't driving carriages on a footpath alongside a road. "Hoorah""

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=58539
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Re: Pedestrians forced to wear reflectives?

Postby MikeF » Sat Jun 07, 2014 5:24 pm

Shouldn't he have been wearing lights as well to be completely safe?? :twisted:
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Re: Mr Loophole Strikes Again . . . .

Postby irc » Sat Jun 07, 2014 8:59 pm

cjchambers wrote: mindbogglingly insensitive.


Agreed. But he was doing his job in pointing out anything that might help his client. Presumably this was part of the plea of mitigation before sentencing.

He was wrong suggesting compulsion but correct that wearing reflective clothing at night , as per the Highway Code, is safer than dark clothing. Whether or not it would have made any difference to the outcome in this case is just speculation.
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Re: Mr Loophole Strikes Again . . . .

Postby Graham » Sat Jun 07, 2014 9:50 pm

Topics merged.

I hope the result is not too garbled.
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Re: Mr Loophole Strikes Again . . . .

Postby Bicycler » Sun Jun 08, 2014 1:33 pm

thirdcrank wrote:Looking at it down the other end of the spyglass, here's a loophole case involving cyclists, but not involving Mr Loophole however.

A posse of police issued tickets to a lot of cyclists for cycling on a footpath "boooo!" but they were all withdrawn because of a gaping loophole: they weren't driving carriages on a footpath alongside a road. "Hoorah""

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=58539

I'm not sure what loophole means. I've always used it to describe a situation where somebody takes advantage of a difference between the intention of a law and the actual law as enacted. I think there is a big difference between this and pointing out where people have been prosecuted improperly. It was never the intention to make cycling on all paths illegal, so it is quite legitimate to point out that the police were wrong to fine cyclists using a path. I don't see that as a loophole. Nor would I see somebody cycling through the pedestrianized area mentioned in another thread who pointed out the lack of proper signing as exploiting a loophole.
I don't think loopholes are the issue here, the issue is the suggestion of contributory negligence as a mitigating factor.
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Re: Mr Loophole Strikes Again . . . .

Postby Psamathe » Sun Jun 08, 2014 3:04 pm

Bicycler wrote:I'm not sure what loophole means. I've always used it to describe a situation where somebody takes advantage of a difference between the intention of a law and the actual law as enacted.

I've had the strong impression for quite some time that our current "law makers" are really not very good at setting rules that achieve their aims. Same with things like tax. Every now and again (ok, rarely) they have an ok idea so they create a law/regulation/whatever and then everybody drives a proverbial coach and horses through it as it is so poorly drafted/worded that it would never achieve the original intent.

And the rouble is you really con't blame those driving the "coach and horses" whatever law/regulation as they are only following what the law/rule states. The onus is on the law makers to "get it right" (we pay them enough to achieve this).

And what makes matters worse is that when it becomes apparent that the law is inadequately drafted (normally pretty soon after legislation enacted), our politicians basically do nothing. Ok, they will start blaming each other and the mess they are trying to sort, anything except admit they got it wrong and anything except redraft the law to meet the original intent i.e. they just can't bring themselves to admit the loophole even when everybody is exploiting it and they can't get of their arses and correct the situation. And as we pay them to "get it right" or at least correct their mistakes after "getting it wrong" it is all rather disappointing.

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Re: Mr Loophole Strikes Again . . . .

Postby thirdcrank » Sun Jun 08, 2014 3:20 pm

Bicycler wrote: ...I'm not sure what loophole means. I've always used it to describe a situation where somebody takes advantage of a difference between the intention of a law and the actual law as enacted. I think there is a big difference between this and pointing out where people have been prosecuted improperly. It was never the intention to make cycling on all paths illegal, so it is quite legitimate to point out that the police were wrong to fine cyclists using a path. I don't see that as a loophole. Nor would I see somebody cycling through the pedestrianized area mentioned in another thread who pointed out the lack of proper signing as exploiting a loophole.
I don't think loopholes are the issue here, the issue is the suggestion of contributory negligence as a mitigating factor.


I'll explain "Mr Loophole" as I see him. Afaik he originally worked on the prosecution side (CPS? - I don't think he's been at it long enough to have been a police prosecutor) and he noticed that there were often gaps in a prosecution case, sometimes exceptions within motoring legislation, sometimes when the paperwork might have been a bit ragged. He set up in business as a defence solicitor, making use of the experience he had gained as a prosecutor. Fair enough. There's nothing particularly demanding about doing this. Once upon a time, the police hierarchy of supervision checked files closely for evidence, continuity etc and when police officers did the prosecuting, they had a vested interest in making sure that files were right. ie they sought out what have come to be called loopholes.

Most of that has gome.

"Mr Loophole's" gimmick was to appear in several cases with high profile defendants - especially people involved with soccer - which were widely reported. In one case, a soccer player was cleared because when his alleged reply to the police requiring the ID of an offending driver was presented, it was unsigned and therefore inadmissible. Fair enough. But something like that works only once and now anybody returning their form unsigned by accident or intentionally will be prosecuted. And so on. The soubriquet "Mr Loophole" comes with certain expectations which cannot possibly be satisfied by an honest solicitor. Some of the claimed loopholes were found to be illusory, especially when the Court Service ensured that the cases were heard by district judges rather than lay magistrates. I fancy a lot of naïve defendants have been "innocent" enough to believe that this person could inevitably "get them off." The reality is that unless a defendant comes up with his own tissue of lies and deceives Mr Loophole into presenting it as the truth, a guilty plea is the only way. Apart from having their expectations of an acquittal shattered, the other downside for a defendant is that they are likely to bathe in the reflected publicity which accompanies their advocate. A case which might be heard in a courtroom with an empty public gallery will have at least a local court reporter looking for a story which may sell to the national media. It's run-of-the-mill mitigation to mention that a deceased casualty's clothing made them hard to see. I've posted more than once before that the clothing etc of vulnerable casualties is routinely photographed by the police as part of the investigation into KSI collisions. In short, "Mr Loophole's" clients don't have the "no publicity" option.

There was somebody similar connected with Man City - Cuthbert the Conjuror or some such. He got a certain amount of opprobrium when the press turned on him after the Tevez (?) episode.

Psamathe

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Re: Mr Loophole Strikes Again . . . .

Postby jezer » Sun Jun 08, 2014 3:36 pm

I expect when the next victim gets shot Mr Loophole will say he should have been wearing a bullet proof vest. It's not my fault m'lord, he brought it on himself. This moron needs to be removed from decent society.
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Re: Mr Loophole Strikes Again . . . .

Postby irc » Sun Jun 08, 2014 5:07 pm

jezer wrote:I expect when the next victim gets shot Mr Loophole will say he should have been wearing a bullet proof vest. It's not my fault m'lord, he brought it on himself. This moron needs to be removed from decent society.


Well he might if it was official advice one should be worn. You can hardly blaame Mr Loophole for pointing out a contravention of the Highway Code when it is a matter of law that any contravention can be taken into account when assessing liability.


A failure on the part of a person to observe a provision of the Highway Code shall not of itself render that person liable to criminal proceedings of any kind but any such failure may in any proceedings ............... be relied upon by any party to the proceedings as tending to establish or negative any liability which is in question in those proceedings.


http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1988/52/section/38
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Re: Mr Loophole Strikes Again . . . .

Postby Mike Sales » Sun Jun 08, 2014 6:25 pm

irc wrote:Well he might if it was official advice one should be worn. You can hardly blaame Mr Loophole for pointing out a contravention of the Highway Code when it is a matter of law that any contravention can be taken into account when assessing liability.




Isn't it irrefutable that the driver failed to observe H.C. para. 126?

Drive at a speed that will allow you to stop well within the distance you can see to be clear.
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Re: Mr Loophole Strikes Again . . . .

Postby thirdcrank » Sun Jun 08, 2014 6:46 pm

Mike Sales wrote: ... Isn't it irrefutable that the driver failed to observe H.C. para. 126? ...


That's probably part of the reason why he pleaded guilty. Having done so, he's entitled to advance mitigation, either personally or through an advocate.
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Re: Mr Loophole Strikes Again . . . .

Postby iviehoff » Mon Jun 09, 2014 3:53 pm

jezer wrote:I expect when the next victim gets shot Mr Loophole will say he should have been wearing a bullet proof vest. It's not my fault m'lord, he brought it on himself. This moron needs to be removed from decent society.

And in the right circumstances, he might have a degree of justice in saying it. A person attending an organised shoot, for example, ought to take a degree of care of their own safety. But this would be a crass defence from a marauding gunman.

It is not clear what are the circumstances of the person being run over, but it seems likely from the comments that he voluntarily entered the roadway, and that further it was dark. Being in Salford, it was likely streetlit and with walkways. People entering the roadway cannot rely entirely on other road users avoiding them in all circumstances, they do have some responsibility for their own safety, and indeed for the safety of other road users who include the vulnerable roadusers such as cyclists. And where there are walkways, the drivers can rely to some degree on pedestrians keeping to them and only entering the roadway when safe. As a general principle, it seems appropriate that where a pedestrian's behaviour in entering the roadway was reckless, that ought to be relevant, at least in mitigation. Now if someone enters the roadway and you as a vehicle operator strike them and were committing some kind of road traffic offence at the time, it is likely to end up as your fault even if the pedestrian's behaviour was reckless.* Given that the irregular behaviour by the vehicle operator here includes speeding and operating telecommunications equipment, even if the pedestrian's behaviour was reckless it is likely to be difficult to show, or even unreasonable to argue - it is difficult for pedestrians to judge the safety of entering the roadway when drivers are speeding and operating telecommunications equipment, and they may well misjudge safety in such conditions. Nevertheless, I would think that walking down the road I live on in the dark without visibility aid is reckless - it has extended sections which are unlit, narrow and without footway. But walking around a city with streetlighting and walkways without visibility aid ought not be thought reckless.

*Note in particular the offence of causing death while driving uninsured - degree of fault for the accident is not relevant to being found guilty of this strict liability offence. One can understand the motivation for this offence being so, but it has resulted in some rather perverse outcomes. We can criticise the CPS for bringing charges in such cases, but the CPS tends to bring charges when it can get a conviction regardless of such matters. That tends to suggest to me it is bad law.
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Re: Mr Loophole Strikes Again . . . .

Postby kwackers » Mon Jun 09, 2014 4:03 pm

iviehoff wrote:Given that the irregular behaviour by the vehicle operator here includes speeding and operating telecommunications equipment,

These to me are the fundamental issues. There's no law that says pedestrians can't walk into the road, I think that car drivers should expect them too - they are after all the license holders whilst pedestrians don't even have to be a full shilling.

The speed limit exists to reduce the chance of death in a collision to a minimum whilst offering a realistic degree of 'progress' to the driver (as well as increasing the amount of warning). Ditto the laws regarding distracting technology likewise exist to give the maximum amount of time to spot others and take avoiding action as opposed to simply running them over.

Obviously there's no guarantee the guy wouldn't have died if the driver hadn't been doing these but there's no doubt he'd have stood a much better chance and based on that fact alone I've no problem putting the blame firmly at the feet of the driver.
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Re: Mr Loophole Strikes Again . . . .

Postby reohn2 » Mon Jun 09, 2014 4:21 pm

kwackers wrote:
iviehoff wrote:Given that the irregular behaviour by the vehicle operator here includes speeding and operating telecommunications equipment,

These to me are the fundamental issues. There's no law that says pedestrians can't walk into the road, I think that car drivers should expect them too - they are after all the license holders whilst pedestrians don't even have to be a full shilling.

The speed limit exists to reduce the chance of death in a collision to a minimum whilst offering a realistic degree of 'progress' to the driver (as well as increasing the amount of warning). Ditto the laws regarding distracting technology likewise exist to give the maximum amount of time to spot others and take avoiding action as opposed to simply running them over.

Obviously there's no guarantee the guy wouldn't have died if the driver hadn't been doing these but there's no doubt he'd have stood a much better chance and based on that fact alone I've no problem putting the blame firmly at the feet of the driver.

Spot on!
And lets not forget the victim's age 82,IIRC or are should he been wearing something denoting his frailty if not his religion :? .
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Re: Pedestrians forced to wear reflectives?

Postby JohnW » Mon Jun 09, 2014 10:58 pm

reohn2 wrote:Leech,parasite,creep,slickly excuse for humanity.Take your pick...............


John - I think you're being unnecessarily complementary about this sewer rat.
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