A WOMAN ended up in court for a crime she didn’t commit five years after her bag was stolen on a night out in Manchester.
Sarah Yates, 24, who had reported the theft to the police and the DVLA, was stunned when she found out she had four points on her licence and a £440 unpaid fine.
Sarah Yates was told she had exceeded the 70mph speed limit on the M62 near Bradford and that court bailiffs had been ordered to collect her debt[/caption]
The 24-year-old, from Stockport, first noticed something was amiss when she was told her car insurance premiums were set to be increased.
To her shock, Sarah was told she had exceeded the 70mph speed limit on the M62 near Bradford and that court bailiffs had been ordered to collect her debt.
But Sarah had photographs on her phone proving she was at a Taylor Swift concert in Manchester at the time of the offence, but she had nobody to show them to.
It was clear someone had been caught speeding – and handed over her licence details.
She claims police never contacted her about her case and says it was only when she called Stockport Magistrates’ Court that she was told to go down and make a statutory declaration.
After waiting several hours for a hearing, Sarah was told she had to stand up in court and plead guilty or not guilty to the offence in question.
It was just humiliating because nobody was listening to me.
She says she had not received, or even been offered, legal advice.
“I just started crying in the courtroom, I was so embarrassed,” Sarah said, speaking to the Manchester Evening News.
“It was just humiliating because nobody was listening to me.
“I was just so angry.”
Since her appearance in court, Sarah claims she made several attempts to contact police to inform them that the person responsible for the driving offences was still at large.
“I was only able to report it as fraud to Action Fraud, I never actually got to speak to a police officer,” she said.
“They’ve done absolutely nothing to help me.”
In a desperate attempt to speak to an officer, Sarah even tried visiting her local police station – only to find it was closed to the public.
“I went to Hazel Grove Police Station to try and speak to someone and there was a sign on the door saying they were closed to the public and I should go to Cheadle Health,” Sarah said.
“The next day I went to Cheadle and there was another sign on the door saying unless I had an appointment, or was picking someone up from custody, then I would have to phone 101.”
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Sarah estimates she’s missed a day of work and has spent nearly 20 hours on the phone to various different agencies.
She sent an email to Bradford court explaining her circumstances and asked for somebody to get in touch about her case.
The following day, she received a reply telling her that the chief prosecutor had decided to drop the case.
Sarah says she is now worried that whoever has her stolen driving licence could do the same again.
The Sun has contacted Greater Manchester Police for comment.
Sarah estimates she’s missed a day of work and has spent nearly 20 hours on the phone to various different agencies[/caption]
Sarah had photographs on her phone proving she was at a Taylor Swift concert in Manchester at the time of the offence[/caption]
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