On 17th May 2016 our client was driving along the A 48 towards Carmarthen and all appeared well with the vehicle, a Kia with recorded mileage of under 4000.
As she approached a roundabout however and tried to slow down, the brakes did not respond and she took emergency action to avoid a serious incident. She turned the steering wheel to make contact with the central reservation in order to slow the car down and the vehicle bounced along the reservation for about 30 metres, and then came into contact with a car and a van which were ahead of her. Having come to a halt she spoke to the two drivers and explained that her brakes had failed, and she made a 999 call explaining the same.
In order to investigate the incident the car was recovered by police and examined by the police forensic examiner, who concluded that there was no evidence of brakes failing. She was offered a drivers awareness course as an alternative to prosecution, but refused this. Sure in her own mind of what had happened our client engaged an independent forensic examiner, and he confirmed that there was thermal imbalance in the braking system, and there had been an inadequate servicing carried out, and furthermore that there were concerns in relation to a defective steering component.
In preparation for the trial the crown were asked to provide a copy of the recording of the 999 call made by our client, which they had had partially transcribed, and in which according to the transcript our client made no mention of brake failure.
The crown did not provide the actual recording until the day of the trial and the transcript was inaccurate as our client had indeed said right from the start in the 999 call that her brakes had failed.
Having heard the evidence from experts on both sides the magistrates acquitted our client of driving without due care and attention, and her decision to refuse the drivers awareness course was entirely vindicated. Costs were awarded from central funds.