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Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Reader Letter: Bullying Capita TV Licensing Court Presenter


In today's post we respond to an email from one of our readers.

Our reader writes:

Dear TV Licensing Blog,

I went to Northampton Magistrates' Court on 28th July 2015. When I got there a guy asked "anyone here for TV licence?" An old and disabled lady said "yes, but I'm not sure if I'm guilty". The man barked at her "you are". He asked me how I would be pleading, and when I said "not guilty" he replied "you are". He went along the line doing the same with everyone else, telling them that they were guilty and suggesting the court would be harsh on anyone daring to plead not guilty.

It wasn't until I entered the courtroom that I discovered he was the prosecutor. How wrong is that? Even the court appeared reluctant to accept my not guilty plea. How can this be justice?

Michael

TV Licensing Blog replies:

Dear Michael,

Thank you for getting in touch.

You are correct that the conduct of the Capita Court Presenter is totally wrong, but sadly not that uncommon. We suspect that Capita Court Presenters across the land have a very loose interpretation of court procedure.

Peter Jones

Michael has since complained to TV Licensing and has received a standard insincere response.

If you have any questions you would like answered on the TV Licensing Blog, please email us with the words "Reader Letter" in the subject line. Our email address is in the sidebar. As mentioned on the About page, we can't guarantee to respond to every email but will try our best.

Edit (27/8/15): We have corrected the date in Michael's email above.

5 comments:

1005922 said...

Do you have to tell the person how you are going to plead before going into the court?

Admin said...

No, you don't.
Normally the defendant has already returned a plea form that indicates how they intend to plead, but they are not bound to it if they subsequently attend in person.

Anonymous said...

Surely a prosecutor cannot state someone is guilty before even setting foot into a court room? Are they not bound by certain ethical standards that prevent such behaviour? If so, this chap should take this prosecutor twat to task. It's time people started growing a pair.

Anonymous said...

I wonder whether the Court should view such behaviour as contempt. It certainly isn't helping the court deliver justice.

Fred Bear said...

Michael might do better to complain to the Court or to one of the regulators of lawyers in the UK rather than to TVL. I'm not sure which body would handle the complaint - maybe the Law Society or the Legal Ombudsman.