Speeding lawyer defends himself
As the lawyer who challenged the evidence in a speed camera case, let me point out the hypocrisy which underpins the criticism levelled at me by some of your readers.
Every driver has, from time to time, glanced down at their speedometer and noticed they were travelling over the limit.
When I received notice of my alleged infringement with a blurred picture, that was exactly the situation I was in – technically guilty, but no-one had any evidence of my wrongdoing.
It would be ludicrous to suggest that drivers who detect themselves speeding should immediately divert to the nearest police station and make a full confession, yet those who criticise me for ‘‘getting off’’’ should be doing precisely that if they want to be morally consistent.
I didn’t ‘‘get off’’’; the police didn’t get me ‘‘on’’. If the evidence was convincing I would have paid.
I don’t know why your reader Andrew Wellum (August 23) feels I need his sympathy. Nor do I feel the shame Phil Cawley (September 2) thinks I should.
I didn’t call the press to crow about my victory.
The litigant who followed me had called them in.
I diverted the $35 to a charitable cause.
The challenge I made in court was not about the photograph, but the procedure by which all speed camera photographs are produced in evidence.
I believe this is utterly flawed. But the police resisted this argument and the justices sided with the police, so I had to go to my fallback position, that a blurred image is proof of nothing.
But my primary argument deserves to be raised again and I intend to do so. activities are important – ‘‘a busy mind is a happy mind’’.
The dismantling of the umbrella of services developed when, in the 1990s, the long stay wards at the old Porirua Psychiatric Hospital were closed and people moved into the community.
The wisdom of replacing experienced hands-on services with an untried brokerage service.
Exposing people with mental health issues, and the low-income communities they generally live in, to the tensions that arise from the deliberate winding down of organised services.
In the 1990s, when the longstay wards at Porirua Hospital closed, the health authorities negotiated with the affected local communities and funded the full mix of services required.
The current Capital & Coast District Health Board changes dismantle much of that infrastructure, leaving mental health consumers and their families exposed.
Whether the health board concern to reduce the number of non-government organisation contracts is valid is not for us to say. However, we fear vulnerable people are at risk.
In the end it will be the court of public opinion that will decide the merits of these changes. TED GALLEN Secretary Mana Recovery Trust board