Reduced fine in 'mitigating circumstances'
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A FIRM of road hauliers on which Willesden
magistrates imposed the maximum fine of £50 for using a lorry with defective brakes was partly successful in an appeal against the sentence at Middlesex Sessions Appeals Court last week, when the fine was reduced to £25.
For the police it was said that on March 8 a police, officer was called to Neasden Lane, Willesden, by the driver of a lorry owned by the firm, Poulson's Transport Ltd., of Southport, Lancs. The driver said his brakes had failed and that he had had an accident. The lorry, an articulated vehicle, was examined and it was found that both foot and handbrakes were defective. The firm had had two previous convictions for using a vehicle with defective brakes and dangerous parts.
For the firm it was submitted that there were strong mitigating circumstances. Before the accident the driver had gone to Ealing police station seeking help and had detached the trailer from the lorry, which he was driving towards a garage to get assistance when the accident occurred.
The lorry had been serviced by mechanics shortly before it set out on its journey and proper precautions had therefore been taken by the firm. The driver had acted wisely and sensibly in trying to get help from garages as soon as he could and also in seeking the advice of the police. The firm owned some 42 lorries and had only two convictions spread over a number of years.
The deputy chairman said that the appellant had made out mitigating circumstances which should be taken into account. At the same time the court regarded defective brakes as a serious matter, and while it was prepared to allow the appeal to the extent of reducing the fine to £25, it was not considered justifiable to reduce it further.