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Southend woman paid fine but was still summoned to court
6:00am Wednesday 23rd October 2013 in News
A PENSIONER was summoned to court for not paying a motoring fine that she had paid but the court service sent back.
Essex Police withdrew its prosecution of Maggie Tuttle and paid her costs after she pointed out the blunder ahead of the hearing.
The force is also reviewing the way it handles fixed-penalty motoring fines in light of the debacle.
Mrs Tuttle was issued a £60 penalty notice on May 24 for using a mobile phone while driving in Glenwood Avenue, Westcliff.
She claims she was parked up at the time, but still paid up.
She said: “In late July a letter came from the Ministry of Justice giving me a cheque for £60. It didn’t say why. I phoned up and was told there had been a lot of wrongly issued fines and people were being sent the money back.”
She said she thought that was the end of it but weeks later received a court summons alleging the non payment of the fine and failing to surrender her driving licence.
She said: “But I took my driving licence in to the police station on May 29, and then it was sent it off to the DVLA because it was due to expire on May 31.”
I told them all of this and produced all the evidence, but they said the case would still have to go ahead. All I got back for the trouble was £20.”
When the case was heard the offences were withdrawn and she was awarded the meagre costs.
Mrs Tuttle has not had to pay the original £60 fine.
An Essex Police spokesman said: “When Mrs Tuttle contacted us on September 10 it appeared she had not surrendered her licence within the seven days required by law. As the case was listed for court police could not “act as judge and jury” and it was decided the court should adjudicate on the evidence.
“On October 15 further correspondence was received from Mrs Tuttle confirming the production of her licence on May 29. The case was reviewed and on October 16 a request was made at court for the case to be withdrawn.
“We are sorry for the confusion caused and although this is the first case of its kind that we are aware of, we are reviewing our processes and guidance will be provided force wide.”
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