Gorleston Father’s for Justice founder spent year clearing his name

PUBLISHED: 10:28 06 January 2012

Tony Lewis who was charged by the police with driving without insurance despite being fully covered.

The case took a year to come to court and was immediately thrown out.

Picture: James Bass

Tony Lewis who was charged by the police with driving without insurance despite being fully covered. The case took a year to come to court and was immediately thrown out. Picture: James Bass

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2011

A CAMPAIGNER wrongly accused of driving without insurance was denied work and spent nearly a year trying to clear his name.

Tony Lewis, co-founder of Fathers 4 Justice, was told he would be fined £500 and get six points on his licence after police were convinced his verbal contract with a garage did not cover him to drive a breakdown recovery vehicle.

But he saw the charge quashed 11 months later when the case was dropped by the Crown Prosecution Service because the insurance company confirmed he was insured.

It was third time Mr Lewis had seen a case thrown out of court for being charged with an offence he did not commit.

The CPS defended their decision to take him to court claiming evidence was continually reviewed and they had made the right decision based on their initial evidence.

Meanwhile, Norfolk Constabulary said they acted lawfully based on the information they had at the time.

Mr Lewis, 50, of Jenner Road, Gorleston, said: “The officer asked me if I was employed by the company, and I said I was sub-contracted to work for them.

“She then asked if she could see my employment contract and I told her it was a verbal contract. She was convinced such a thing did not exist, so she said I wasn’t working for the garage so the vehicle had to be towed away.

“The police wouldn’t accept I was covered on the trader’s policy of insurance. I tried to get the police officer to understand she was making a mistake and I wasn’t just trying to avoid a charge of driving without insurance.”

Mr Lewis said he was sub-contracted to drive the recovery vehicle for Respark Trading Ltd in Lowestoft when the police were called because it got a puncture on the A12 near Hopton on January 4 last year.

He is now seeking compensation after he was turned down for a job because he did not have a clean driving licence. The breakdown truck was also towed away by the police and crushed.

He added: “The judge asked in court why had it taken nearly a year to have this case thrown out?”

The case was dropped at Great Yarmouth Magistrates’ court on Wednesday December 22.

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