HAS the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) done Councillor Carl Maynard a disservice?
You reported in the Observer that Cllr Carl Maynard had appeared at Hastings Magistrates Court on October 20 charged with using a vehicle without a current MoT and in an unroadworthy condition in that the suspension had collapsed.
You later reported on February 17 that the charges had been dropped by the CPS due to insufficient evidence.
Councillor Maynard is the Leader of Rother District Council and Lead Member on East Sussex County Council for Economy, Transport and Environment. Included in his brief is Road Safety.
The public have to trust that the CPS, as an impartial organisation, will prosecute when there is a realistic chance of success.
Presumably that was the case when Cllr Maynard appeared in court on October 20.
For the CPS to find later that they have ‘insufficient evidence’ either calls into doubt their original judgement of the case, or some other factor arose between Cllr Maynard’s court appearance and the date scheduled for the second.
Without casting any doubt on the character of Cllr Maynard, it would be true to say that the public are often less than trusting of politicians.
For the public to see such a simple prosecution by the CPS as using a vehicle in an unroadworthy condition and without a valid MoT run into difficulties, could cause them to think there might have been some kind of favouritism, especially given Cllr Maynard’s responsibility for road safety.
In the circumstances, would it not have be better for the CPS to have continued with the case, and perhaps have lost it?
Then the public would know the facts as aired in court, and have faith in both our elected politician and the justice system.