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Defence costs refused in successful summary appeal

Defendant’s costs orders were the subject of a judicial review in R (on the application of Monckton) v Carlisle Crown Court (2015). The defendant had successfully appealed her conviction for failing to notify details of driver under section 172 Road Traffic Act 1988. She never completed the form but was unable to establish whether she or her husband was driving (they had swapped mid-journey) and thus able to rely on the statutory defence (section 172(4)). However, her application for a defendant’s costs order was refused. Whilst the Crown Court had not applied the proper test, the Divisional Court held that it would have to come to the same conclusion had it done so. She had brought the prosecution upon herself given the content of correspondence and representations. This is a salutary lesson that costs do not always follow the event in successful summary proceedings and motorists are well advised to ensure that they comply with the requirements of section 172.


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