Nick has represented numerous defendants in the Magistrates' Courts who have been charged with Road Traffic offences such as speeding, driving whilst unfit through drink or drugs, failure to identify the identity of a driver, failure to provide a specimen for analysis. Nick has successfully advanced "exceptional hardship" arguments (avoiding a 6-month disqualification despite amassing 12 points owing to mitigating circumstances relating to the offender) and "special reasons" arguments (avoiding obligatory disqualification or endorsement due to novel circumstances relating to the offence). Three examples include MH who was found not guilty of failing to provide a specimen of urine despite the absence of medical evidence. This followed legal argument as to what constitutes a “failure to provide” and the Court ruled that the defendant had a defence on the basis of a genuine medical condition. AP was arrested by police whilst driving his Ferrari when under the influence of excess alcohol. The Court was persuaded to find "special reasons" not to disqualify the defendant and he received an absolute discharge on the basis that the defendant’s two friends laced his drink without his knowledge or consent. Nick represented WF who successfully appealed against his conviction for failing to provide information as to the identity of a driver of a vehicle (captured speeding by a static camera), contrary to section 172 of the Road Traffic Act 1988, on the basis that the requirement “to give” information does not include an obligation to ensure its safe receipt.
Nick represented a young army officer who was caught by a speed camera exceeding the speed limit whilst riding his motorcycle on the Wessex Way in Dorset. He proceeded to set fire to the speed camera out of frustration and annoyance. He was duly arrested and charged with arson and perverting the course of public justice. Nick represented him throughout the proceedings and the defendant avoided prison and instead received a community order together with a not insignificant fine. Incidentally, the camera worked and the defendant received a fixed penalty notice. However, he avoided penalty points because he was offered, and chose to attend, a driver awareness course (Bournemouth Crown Court). Nick's client, a National Express Coach driver, was found not guilty of two counts of dangerous and careless driving. PH had lost control of his coach in the New Forest in the late evening, drifting onto the hard shoulder, up an embankment and into foliage before crossing three lanes of the motorway and coming to a stop on the hard shoulder. The 49 passengers on a journey from London Victoria to Poole were said to have been “shocked” and “frantic”. Nick successfully argued that his client had not fallen asleep as alleged, but had suffered from an episode of automatism/unexplained loss of consciousness and the jury unanimously agreed. His further argument, that the driver's decision to proceed on to Ringwood soon after the initial incident did not constitute either dangerous or careless driving, was also successful: Daily Echo. This case involved extensive expert evidence by a Neurologist and a “Sleep Expert” (Southampton Crown Court).