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THE CHAIR of the Bench at Solihull Magistrates Court was forced to apologise to a defendant after a police blunder led to a case of mistaken identity.

Neil Waites, 42, was summoned before the court las Thursday (June 14) after allegedly failing to provide his identity following a crash in the borough on November 17.

Neil Waites, 42, was summoned before the court las Thursday (June 14) after allegedly failing to provide his identity following a crash in the borough on November 17.

Mr Waites, who had driven down from his home in Monsal Avenue, Buxton, Derbyshire to attend the hearing, told the court that during the time of the crash, his car had been parked at work in Derbyshire for a 12 hour shift. He also had a letter from his work as evidence.

He stated that his car, despite it matching the vehicle registration given, was actually a Renault Laguna while it was a Vauxhall Zafira that was involved in the accident.

Mr Waites said he had called the police on several occasions to inform them of the mistake and believed that was adequate. As he was not involved with the accident, he had not returned the police’s written document requesting information on his identity.

Magistrates initially sought to continue the case against Mr Waites, asking him to plead against the offence of failing to provide his identity, a charge which carries six penalty points.

However prosecution argued that Mr Waites should not be punished for the police’s mistake and said: “The summons was wrong therefore, the guilty plea should be withdrawn and the case dismissed.”

Lead magistrate Simon Morgan added: “The bench will have to apologise that you came all the way down from Derbyshire to come here.”

 

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