Taken from the Magistrates' Court transcripts

For those not aware of the British legal system, most traffic offences are dealt with in the Magistrates' Court and the Magistrates are lay people, rather than professional legal staff. The Clerk of the Court (who is legally trained) makes hand-written notes of relevant points during the trial.

If you have read the "Crash" page, you will see that the crash occurred when both I and a lorry driven by Mr Uren overtook lorries on a 3-lane stretch of road. The trial, in simple terms, revolved round "who was in the middle lane first?" and therefore claimed the lane to overtake. I obviously said I overtook first and I had 2 witnesses, Mr W..... who was driving a Volvo car and was immediately following me and Mr Turk, who was driving a car following Mr Uren's lorry. I therefore had witnesses who certified that I pulled out first from either direction. Miss S.... could only say that a crash occurred as she was following me 5 or 6 cars back.. Mr Uren alleged that he overtook first and was level with the cab of the lorry he was overtaking when I suddenly pulled out and a crash occurred.

Then a Mr Turk appeared for the defence (we had not been given his details and in fact had not left his name Police as a possible witness) and went and contradicted everyone in the court, including Mr Uren. The only thing he got right was the date!!!! (Was he the person I heard arguing while trapped?). He was actually accused in Court of knowing or being paid by Mr Uren. Although the Magistrates obviously discounted every part of his evidence, he would have appeared in the civil proceedings about liability and would have put doubt in the Judge's mind - Mr Turk cost me 25% of my total settlement - around 125,000.

 

The following is taken from the court transcripts with words added to make the sentences read like English. You will see that Mr Turk contradicts everyone and doesn't agree with even the order of the cars in the queue.

 

Mr Cattell: (I was driving) directly behind (a) lorry

Mr Turk: (There was a) Mondeo directly in front of me, (a) Volvo in front of (the) Mondeo - then (a) flat bed lorry.

 

Mr Cattell: (I was) following (a) bus and artic (I actually described it as a box artic in court).

Mr Turk: (I) didn't see a double decker bus. (I) saw (a) flat bed lorry.....(There was) no double decker bus there.

 

Mr Cattell and Mr W..... gave order of vehicles as bus, lorry, Mondeo and Volvo.

Mr Turk gave the order as Lorry, Volvo, Mondeo and me (Mr Turk).

 

 

 

Mr Cattell: (I) must have stood on the brakes - (I had a) bruise (on the bottom) of (my) foot from (the) brake pedal.

Mr W.....: (I) saw brake lights.....(the) brakes (were) applied - (there was) smoke from (the) Mondeo. (I am) surprised if (there) is no skid mark.

Mr Turk: Mondeo - no brakes at all.

 

Mr W..... (Volvo driver); (I was) following (the) Mondeo (for a) considerable distance. (I was in) no hurry, (the) Mondeo neither.......My attention (was) on (the) car in front.

Mr Turk: (There was a) Mondeo directly in front of me, (a) Volvo in front of (the) Mondeo - then (a) flat bed lorry. and: Mr Turk gave the order as Lorry, Volvo, Mondeo and me (Mr Turk). (When asked if he had made a mistake about the positioning of the vehicles, Mr Turk replied that he had not made a mistake about (the) position of the vehicles and that "I can't be wrong - I was there. I'm right."

 

Mr W.....: Out of the blue, (a) lorry appeared from behind (the) lorry coming up (the) hill in front of the Mondeo.

Mr Turk: (I) saw (a) box-like lorry in (the) overtaking lane. (The) Mondeo overtook without signalling. My impression (was that he was (committing suicide. Heading straight for (the) lorry (with the) impact (after 7 or 8 seconds. (I) saw (the ) lorry in the overtaking lane first, not (the) Mondeo.

 

Mr W.....: (The) second lorry (was) obscured to my view - (it) pulled out in front of (the) Mondeo.

Mr Turk: (I) saw (a) box-like lorry in (the) overtaking lane. (The lorry) started to overtake where the crawler lane starts.

 

Mr W.....: (the) lorry (was) not already out when (the) Mondeo started to overtake.

Mr Turk: (The lorry) started to overtake where the crawler lane starts.

 

Miss S....: (there was a) Double decker bus and (a) lorry in front of us.

Mr Turk: (I) didn't see a double decker bus. (I) saw a flat bed lorry. (there was) no double decker bus there) (Comment: If it was a flat bed lorry, Mr Turk would have seen the bus, if it was a box artic, which it was, he had an excuse, but didn't take it.)

 

Mr T.r. (I) noticed (a) red car coming down (the) hill - (it was) impossible (for me) to overtake. (The) lorry pulled out leaving (the) red car nowhere to go.

Mr Turk: (The lorry) started to overtake where the crawler lane starts......(I) saw (a) box-like lorry in (the) overtaking lane.

 

Mr Tr (the) maximum distance (the) lorry travelled (was) probably the length of (this) room. (Comment: the courtroom was 30 feet across approximately).

Mr Turk: . Heading straight for (the) lorry (with the) impact (after 7 or 8 seconds. (The) speed was 60 to 65 mph.

 

Mr T...r: (I) definitely know (the) car was out before (the) lorry.

Mr Turk: (I) saw (the ) lorry in the overtaking lane first, not (the) Mondeo.

 

Mr Uren: (I started to overtake) just under half way up (the hill) - between a third and a half.

Mr Turk: (The lorry) started to overtake where the crawler lane starts.

 

Mr Uren (There was) no one in (the) centre lane. .... No one coming down. ....(I) looked (across) at (the) driver (of the articulated lorry I was overtaking). (I was) level with (the) cab. When (I) looked back, (the) car (had) pulled out.

Mr Turk: (I) saw (a) box-like lorry in (the) overtaking lane. (The) Mondeo overtook without signalling. My impression (was that he was (committing suicide. Heading straight for (the) lorry (with the) impact (after 7 or 8 seconds.

 

Mr Turk: (the) lorry driver (was) innocent.

Magistrates: (the lorry driver was) Guilty of Careless Driving