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Sunday, 21 November 2010

DESTINY 2

OK, let's finish this---I have no idea why I stated---blame the booze.

So I've quit from my first full time job and I'd better get hunting for a new one--I still had in my mind that I wanted something in the Maritime industry and someone suggested the State Government---the Harbours Board---they ran the Ports, the wharfs and jetties throughout the State---so I had to make an application to sit a Public Service entrance examination---I did and it was simple.

I was out with a few friends and we may have got involved in a little underage drinking---we got cornered by a group of fairly large young blokes who were hell bent on fighting us over an altercation the previous night----problem was that it was not me or any of my friends involved, but they didn't want to believe us---
I soon worked out that they were Police Cadets from the local academy and basically told them if they took matter into their own hands, that I would front up at the academy the next day and none of them would have a job----with much grumbling, they backed down.

About a week later I got a message that I had my Public Service job and should report to the Courthouse to start work---Courthouse ?, there is something wrong here so I phoned the writer and was told that you just took a job in the Public Service and looked at the internal notice of vacancies every week til you found the job that you wanted----sounded fair to me so I reported for work at the Courthouse.
Nothing came up in the notice of vacancies in the first year and I had developed an interest in the law.
I had learnt respect for the hard job that the Police did and had found out that the large majority of them were great people----but I had also found out that there was a very small minority who were egotistical and would take short cuts in everything that they did
I had a couple of run ins with a young Police Officer stationed next to the Courthouse--I couldn't work out why until another young officer told me that he was a member of the academy group that I had backed down over 12 months before.

I was just getting out of my car in the courthouse car park when the academy boy yelled out to me--I've got you this time---I just followed and timed you for 2/10ths of a mile in St V street and you were speeding and you are booked---I said, "You have got to be joking--there is no way that I was speeding and there was no Police car following me"---He said "I got you in my own car and you're gone"----I gave him all of my details and went back to work----I wrote everything down from times and places to conversations had.
Two weeks later I got a summons to appear in my own Courthouse to answer the dastardly charges----I could plead guilty in writing and not appear, appear and plead guilty or appear and plead not guilty.

My big day came around and I sat in the Courtroom til my name was called---the Magistrate looked up and before the charge was read he said to me "Clyde, you know that you could have pleaded guilty in writing--if you think that appearing in person in front of me will get you any discount, you are wrong---now read the charge to him". The clerk read the charge and I think everyone in the court was taken back by my not guilty plea.
The Magistrate said "Well, that's a surprise but because we work in the same Courthouse and have had some contact, I cannot hear your trial--but one of the Country Circuit Magistrates will be here tomorrow and I will set it down before him--you will have to take the day off from work and attend here with your solicitor---will your solicitor be able to attend tomorrow ?"----the frown on his face only got worse when I said that I intended to conduct my own trial and would not have a solicitor to represent me.

I had a bit of a chuckle when my trial was called on the next day and half of the court staff and the resident Magistrate were sitting in the back of the court.
I had never met the Circuit Magistrate but he gave me the same speech about no favours just because I worked there then asked the Prosecutor to call his first witness----of course there was only one---Mr narky academy boy Policeman.

Through prompting from the prosecutor, he told the court that he was an experienced patrol officer and had experience in following and timing vehicles and apprehending offenders. He told the court how he had followed and timed me from one point in St V street till I turned off at Com Rd----the Magistrate thanked him and asked if I had any questions of the officer.----of course I did.

"Now officer, you have told the court that you followed and timed me from the N street intersection along St V street til I turned off at Com Rd--is that correct?"----Yes"----" Right, now could you tell the court if you can, did I come from further back on St V street or did I turn onto St V street from N street ?"---Yes, you turned onto St V street from N street"----"Thank you, now could you tell the court what sort of Police car you were driving at the time and if you have certification of the accuracy of the car's speedometer ?"----He glared at me and said "You know that I wasn't driving a Police car--it was my own car and the speedometer is accurate"---The Magistrate looked up but before he could speak, I asked the officer "So officer, do you have a certification of the accuracy of your speedometer?"

The Magistrate stopped me there "Clyde, you know that the officer does not have a certificate of accuracy, but if he is confident of the accuracy, we may have to adjust the speed down a little for penalty---now do you have anything else for this officer ?"
The poor bloody cop had a grin on his face from ear to ear almost laughing at me when I asked him " Well officer, have you ever read the Road Traffic Act?"---He smiled and it was almost a grunt as he said "Yes"----"Well officer under section 49 of the Act, you are required to follow me at a constant speed for 2/10ths of a mile--is that correct?"--"Yes, I know what it says"----"OK, thank you officer so do you know what Section 108 says?"
The Magistrate snapped "Yes Clyde, we all know what it says"---"Well sir, in that case, we all know that you have no discretion in allowing a meter that is not certified to be used in a prosecution".
There was a hush--I could see the Magistrates blood pressure rising---some bloody teenage kid had just questioned him on his decision on the law. I could feel myself starting to sweat but I kept my eyes fixed on him--it was like a little light switched on in his head---his fiery eyes glared at me and he said "Well Clyde, I suppose you know what section 55 of the Criminal Law Consolidation Act says?'---"I think so sir, I think it gives the presiding officer the power of general discretions, but it would not apply here"-----"Oh, you are so wrong Clyde, I can apply it where I think fit----so if you have nothing more for this officer, I think we should move on to any summations"
"Sir, I am reluctant to disagree with you but I do have one more thing of this officer"-----"Officer, you followed and timed me at a constant speed from no further back than N street, because we agree that I turned onto St V street from N street--so in turning I could not have been at the speed you suggest and would have to accelerate to that speed and you timed me from there at a constant speed---is that right ?"---"yes, I have already said that"-----"And officer, you would have to agree that I would have had to slow down to turn off into C road"----"Yes, that's right"
"So officer, how far is it from the N street intersection to the C road turnoff?"---The officer looked at the Magistrate who said "Humour him"---the officer looked back and said "I couldn't be sure"---
I couldn't help but smile when I said to him "Would it surprise you to know that it is less than 2/10ths of a mile from one intersection to the next--so if I was accelerating from one and slowing down at the other and the total distance is not 2/10ths of a mile, how did you follow and time me as you have said---oh, and be aware that I have Local Council measurements in my hand and I have one of your fellow officers outside who has measured it for me---so could you have been mistaken?"
The Magistrate called for my measurements to be handed up---stood the officer down from the witness box and called the other officer from outside---he testified to a measurement very close to the Councils certification---both of which were short of 2/10th of a mile.
The Magistrate dismissed the case but couldn't help but tell be that he could have held me for contempt----"Now Clyde, is there anything else"---"Well yes sir, I had to take a day off to appear here on instructions from one of your brother Magistrates so I would like costs in the amount of my days wage"---before the Magistrate could respond, the Prosecutor agreed to the cost so there was no way that the Magistrate could order otherwise.

I was in the office before going home to celebrate my day off and my victory when I got called into the resident Magistrates chambers----the Circuit Magistrate was there and said to me "Son, you need to show a little more respect to the Court"--I couldn't help myself and said "Sir, I have the utmost respect for the Court and for the Law but I have difficulty in respecting those who place their own interpretations on the law pander to their own ego"
Before the resident Magistrate could come to my defence, the circuit Magistrate laughed and said "Son, you have guts, you have a good knowledge of the law and you will go far if you decide to stay on the right side of the law."

So I never applied for that job in the maritime industry---but I did complete all University Certificate Course in the Administration of Justice
And I still like to go into Court and have a little joust with the lawyers and Magistrates---but only when I know the law and know that I am right
I will treat everyone with the respect that their office deserves as long as they extend me the same courtesy.

And no matter what that Police Officer did, I still believe that the overwhelming majority of Officer do a great job and are fair and honest----I wouldn't want their job.

16 comments:

Ponita in Real Life said...

That's excellent, Clyde!!! Good on you for sticking to your rights and having everything lined up. Some people are just bullies and will do whatever they can to make other feel small and worthless. That young officer was a bully, plain and simple. But you knew the law and were not intimidated into pleading guilty. Yay!!

-eve- said...

Cool! better than I would have done ;)

Fanny said...

I love it, I love it.

I wish you were the police prosecutor when my assault case was being heard. It was a farce. Egos all over the place.

Macy said...

Clyde - Brilliant story! Too bad you don't practice in the UK!
I'm living on borrowed time here before I finally get caught speeding.

Clyde said...

Ponita

I'm not sure that he was a bully--he just thought he could misuse his authority and someone would just roll over.
Things got a little bit hot for him in the Police Force and he resigned after about ten years--he was lazy and took short cuts and was found out.
I did get to pay him back when he applied for an in court security job and I was the employing authority

Clyde said...

Eve

When you have the knowledge, you never know what you can do with it--my medical knowledge is limited and I would trust you with my life

Clyde said...

Fanny

That is my pet hate in court--egos and testosterone.
Luckily in my state there are some brilliant female barristers, lawyers, magistrates and judges--our Chief Magistrate is female---the girls dont seem to have the egos

Clyde said...

Macy

We all go through that---I have never been more thankful for an invention that I am for cruise control.
Hey, if your guilty, there is not much anyone can do for you

Venom said...

Oooh, I do love a right fighter!! Always been a sucker for the legal dramas like LA Law, Outlaw, Law & Order, etc. Something about a persuasive law man is so hot. *sigh*

Clyde said...

Venom

Oh, and I think watching a good female barrister in full flight is hot---or mabe it is because my top three are actually hot

♥ The Lyrical Designer ♥ said...

you stick to your guns. I like that.

Clyde said...

Lyrical Lady

Ha ha---but sometimes it gets people offside----but if I am right, I wont take a punishment for being wrong---
But I'm not one of those people who has to be right all of the time

Just telling it like it is said...

Oh your so smart...I have to say that is a big turn on...Pantie dropper...are you under age?...Happy Thanksgiving! xoxox hugs Amie

Scarlet Blue said...

Clever man!
Most impressive.
Sx

Clyde said...

Just

I am not so smart but I am so determined---I have learnt a lot about the law, I am not frightened by the law, and I'm quite happy to challenge matters within the law.
I know very little in the health or medical arena and you know it all----you are so smart---and you are so dedicated---and that lady is HOT

Clyde said...

Miss Scarlet

WE are all clever in our own comfort zones