Let me start by telling you a little story. Some years ago I was involved in an accident, no one was hurt but I was charged with ‘Driving without due care and attention’.
I went to the Magistrates Court and pleaded not guilty to the charge, maintaining that it was an error of judgement on my part not as charged and was indeed an accident in the true meaning of the word. Having made my opening statement the magistrates paused proceedings and the Chair pointed out to me that if I maintained my not guilty plea then there would have to be another hearing and a witness would have to come from Southampton and should I be found guilty then I would be responsible for his travel expenses, loss of earnings and in all probability an overnight stay.
The hearing was adjourned for a tea break to give me time to think. I changed my plea to guilty as I couldn’t afford to take the risk. Just for interest sake the magistrates said they would fine me the minimum allowed in law with the minimum points on my licence.
Now Grayling, that unqualified disaster of a Justice Minister, has brought in new fees, which come into force on 13 April, are not means-tested and will start at £150 and can rise to £1200 for anyone convicted of any crime. As my example above shows many people will plead guilty to something they have not in fact done rather than risk the extra penalties that may be imposed.
The only advantages will be money for the government and a sharp rise in police conviction rates.
However! JUSTICE WILL BE DENIED & JUSTICE WILL BE PERVERTED.