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“Insufficient evidence” found to prosecute bikers wrongly convicted of 140mph speeds

PUBLISHED: 14:30 20 June 2018 | UPDATED: 14:49 20 June 2018

Five motorcyclists have had convictions of speeding at 140mph on the A47 overturned after a review of the evidence. Picture: Norfolk Police

Five motorcyclists have had convictions of speeding at 140mph on the A47 overturned after a review of the evidence. Picture: Norfolk Police

Norfolk Police

A case review of the conviction of five bikers accused of speeding at 140mph on the A47 found “insufficient evidence” to prosecute four who had been convicted by a single magistrate.

Left to right: Martin Pinfold, Kaz Pinfold, Simon Nicholls, Sian Cooper and Jackson Harmer. Picture: Dominic GilbertLeft to right: Martin Pinfold, Kaz Pinfold, Simon Nicholls, Sian Cooper and Jackson Harmer. Picture: Dominic Gilbert

It came after Norfolk Police charged the group under the Single Justice Procedure and all five were convicted without attending court.

In January the magistrate convicted Sian Cooper, Jackson Harmer, Kaz Pinfold, Martin Pinfold and Gavin Green of 140mph speeds. Three had entered guilty pleas, but emails to the court on behalf of the other two were missed, so they were convicted in their absence.

Norwich Magistrates Court heard on Tuesday from prosecutor Stacie Cossey the evidence only showed lead rider Martin Pinfold, 51, was travelling at 94mph “for at least six seconds” on the morning of August 6 last year.

MORE: Bikers’ ‘year of hell’ after being wrongly convicted of 140mph speeds on A47

Mr Pinfold, of Allendale Road in Caister, admitted the speed and the bench accepted an application to discontinue the cases of the remaining four.

After the hearing a CPS spokesman said: “In order to continue a prosecution, we have to be satisfied there is sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction and that it is in the public interest to prosecute.

“Following our review of the material [police] provided and in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors there was insufficient evidence to prosecute four of the five riders involved.”

Norfolk Police said the cases against four of the riders were dropped after a “review of the technical evidence”.

They added no formal action is currently being taken against the officer in charge of the case.

Inspector Jon Chapman of the Roads Policing unit said: “Speeding is one of the ‘fatal four’ offences which makes you more likely to be killed or seriously injured in a collision. Highly skilled roads policing officers, who are specifically trained and responsible for ensuring road safety, focus on these offences on a daily basis in an attempt to reduce casualties whilst improving road safety.

“In this case, three of the riders pleaded guilty and two failed to enter a plea and were convicted in their absence. Due to the circumstances involved and possible outcomes, the matter was referred to a court hearing for sentencing.

“At the sentencing hearing all five changed their pleas to not guilty and following a further review of the technical evidence it was decided to only pursue a charge against one rider.”

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