It never ceases to amaze me that people who for whatever reason do not accept a Fixed Penalty Notice for a motoring offence, fail to appear on a summons for trial, fail to plead not guilty by post and are therefore invariably convicted unless there is a legal impediment are surprised. Often, of course, we have before us people making statutory declarations that until a fines notice was received they were unaware of any proceedings. In those case the matter is usually re-opened and the individual given verbal notice of the future trial date and advice to complete all details when the summons arrives if they intend to admit the charge and are unable to attend court in person. Many appeals at crown court against conviction and/or sentence are made by offenders who have failed to follow that simple pathway. It often costs them much in time and expense not withstanding the courts` costs. Perhaps those tried in absence without any evidence that they did all that could be reasonably required to be aware of the proceedings should lose the right of appeal.
No doubt the motoring offenders listed at Coventry Magistrates` Courts and at the country`s other courts who feel indignant at the consequences of ignoring their summonses will be aggrieved at the cost of hoping the matter against them would go away. It won`t and heads buried in the sand don`t help.