Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Millionaire escapes driving ban as weak JP Eve Forrest bends the knee to the rich, two tier justice in Perth makes her unfit for purpose

Dear All

Scotland is a corrupt country.

As such depending on your status you can effectively be above the law that applies to the rest of us.

Mark Birkbeck, 62 has 14 points on his driving licence, if you get 12 you get banned from the road.

But Mark Birkbeck is special, he is a millionaire.

As the owner of the ‘Harrods of the north’ has escaped a driving ban after spinning a line that would cause him exceptional hardship.

In his pitch to the Court, Birkbeck who built and owns House of Bruar stuck in a threat that he would be forced to sack staff at the shopping complex if he was banned from the road.

He told Perth Justice of the Peace Court that no-one else in the company was capable of buying the goods on display his shop.

Unsurprisingly anti-speeding campaigners have reacted to the sentence with fury because it sends out the wrong message.

Chairwoman of Scotland’s Campaign against Irresponsible Driving (SCID), Joyce Beasley, said:

“For a driver who already has 10 points on his licence to receive a further four points and not be disqualified from driving is an insult to all those bereaved or seriously injured as a result of speeding drivers. To use the excuse of exceptional hardship is unacceptable particularly when the accused is a multimillionaire with the means to employ a chauffeur.”

And Birkbeck can afford to employ a driver.

Ellen Booth, campaigns officer for Brake, said:

“We urge judges to prioritise the safety of the public and issue a driving ban to stop these drivers before the worst happens and their unsafe driving kills someone.”

It seems that Justice of the Peace Eve Forrest fell for a story that as he lived in a remote house and would not be in a position to hire a chauffeur.

Forrest shouldn’t be keeping in mind his housing arrangements rather she should be applying the law.

Justice of the Peace Eve Forrest shouldn’t be sitting on the bench delivering sentences, her judgement is warped.

Birkbeck, of Grantown-on-Spey, Morayshire, admitted speeding at 90mph on the M90 motorway between Inverkeithing and Perth on October 6.

And should be banned!

Solicitor David McKie, defending, said:

“He is the chairman of House of Bruar, which employs 240 people. In addition there is the business of Johnstons of Elgin, for which House of Bruar is a principal customer. If he is disqualified for six months there will be a large number of redundancies at House of Bruar. As chairman he is not passive, but active. He started the business from scratch and built it from nothing. His role is as selector and buyer of products. He chooses what goes on the shop floor. He travels extensively, not just in the UK, but abroad, and regularly goes to trade shows. Every aspect of the business is selected by Mr Birkbeck. His son Patrick is managing director.”

This is what is called mitigation, the yarn used at the end of being found guilty.

And it isn’t the Court’s problem.

Four penalty points and a £300 fine is a joke.

Forrest said:

“there’s signs of reflected hardship to employees of the business.”

It seems that justice in the provinces needs to be tightened up and Forrest SNLR as soon as possible.

She clearly isn’t up to the job.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University


Anonymous said...

Now that the damage has been done, how does "Joe public" go about overturning this farcical sentence?

Solicitors Merseyside said...

Merseyside Solicitors

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