Thoughts for this forum's legal fraternity.
Thi issue concerns secret justice; I will quote verbatim what the judge said: District judge Nigel Cadbury, addressing Mr G, said that there was nothing unusual about this case 'except who you are'. The judge continued, 'Of course, it is because of who you are that you've put a lot of people to a lot of trouble in the past few days'. The judge also refused a request from the press to be allowed to name the defendant. (Mr G, was the defendant.)
The case was dealt with by Telford Magistrates Court, on Friday January 20th. 2012. The charge against Mr G,, aged 29 years, was driving a military van while twice over the legal limit. He was found guilty and find £520; disqualified for twenty-months. In addition he must pay £85. court costs, and £15, victim surcharge. He was also ordered to pay £400, compensation to a Mr and Mrs Bailey for extensive damage to their home when Mr G, crashed into it at 2.40am. The Baileys' say that they have been denied justice. Their home suffered up to £40,000 in structural damage and items stored in their garage, but they cannot be told the name of the convicted criminal who inflicted that harm upon them. It was said in court that the damage to the house might be paid by Mr G's employers. We presume that Mr G's employer was/is the military, but that wasn't actually said. He may have been a civilian employee, a serviceman, a 'trainee' from overseas, someone entitled to diplomatic immunity; the list could be endless. What we can say was that he was lawfully entitled to drive the vehicle, and only his alcohol level disqualified him at the time of the accident. He was describede as a first time offender and an experienced driver. 'He has passed more tests than most people could imagine and has qualifications for driving vehicles such as HGVs', said his defence counsel.
Supposing that this defendant was a member of the Royal family; would that entitle him to anonymity? I very much doubt it. Could the driver be from a strict 'no drinking' culture from overseas? Could be, and it could provoke political repercussions? Not impossible, but it may do. If diplomatic immuinty was a factor, almost certainly it would not have been brought to court in the first place. I offer no prizes for the best answer, but if some get lost on their intellectual mental excursions, we cannot guarantee to come and find you.