Quentin acts in successful defence of Private Prosecution

Quentin acts in successful defence of Private Prosecution


Miss PD works as an employee of Capita PLC processing forms for Transport for London (“TFL”), her job is to process and issue evidential packs relating to parking and bus lane violations in the Greater London area before the Transport Commissioner.


Due to an issue in a case that she was working on, some incorrect details had been submitted on an evidential form which had been submitted to the Commissioner. The original case was defended by a gentleman who has been described in the press as a ‘motor fine campaigner’ and ‘parking ticket activist’ who acts on behalf of individuals and companies who are accused of parking and road traffic contraventions.


Following the case before the Commissioner, the ‘motor fine campaigner’ launched a private prosecution against PD for an alleged criminal offence contrary to section 80(5) of the Traffic Management Act 2004.


Specialist criminal defence barrister Quentin Hunt was instructed by Capita PLC to defend PD. He was instructed on a direct public access basis. Upon instruction Quentin was not impressed with the state of the private prosecution and launched a two-prong attack on the matter. Firstly, he made an application to the Court that the case amounted to an abuse of the process of the Court, if successful this application would have led to the prosecution being dismissed. In addition, Quentin approached the Crown Prosecution Service in an attempt to persuade them that the case be taken over by the Director of Public Prosecutions and discontinued. The rationale was that the case was fundamentally misconceived and did not meet either the evidential or public interest tests for prosecution under the code for crown prosecutors.


The matter appeared before the City of Westminster Magistrates Court. Quentin applied for the case to be listed for an abuse of process argument, this was granted, and directions were given towards a hearing. In the meantime, Quentin wrote a detailed letter of representations, supported by evidence, and submitted it to the CPS to try to get the matter discontinued.


Before the abuse of process argument could be heard at Court, the CPS notified all parties and the Court that they were to be taking over the prosecution. At the same time, they served a notice of discontinuance under Section 23(3) Prosecution of Offences Act 1985. The case against PD was over. PD had been apprehensive about the case and the news that she had won the case was very welcome indeed.


Quentin Hunt is a Criminal Defence Barrister who has extensive experience in both bringing and defending Private Prosecutions. If you are either threatened with, or are subject to, a private prosecution then there are many avenues that can be explored to defeat unmeritorious cases. You can contact Quentin for a free discussion on how he can assist in your case. Quentin accepts instructions both through solicitors and directly from members of the public or companies.