Never a lender or a borrower be

Never a lender or a borrower be

If someone you don’t know asks to take your motorbike out, don’t be a plum.

As I write this down, I realise that I sound really stupid, but can you help me? I had my GSX-R1000 up for sale. I mentioned this while chatting to some lads who I regularly see at a cafe which is a regular meeting place for motorbikes.

One of the lads, Steve, who I had seen plenty of times before said be was interested in buying it. He asked to take it for a quick blast.

His mates stayed behind, so I was happy enough for him to take it out. He had left his bike and keys with me. His motorbike was a fairly old Fireblade.

I got a bit queasy after 20 minutes, but he came back in, told me he liked the motorbike and made an offer for it, but it was less than I was willing to accept, so we parted. He bought me a burger and a tea for fuel, and that was the end of that, at least so I thought.

A week later I got a letter from the police demanding to know who the rider of my motorbike was, as he had been clocked at a pretty lively speed. I told the police that I had lent the bike to a guy that I only knew as Steve.

I told them that he had quite an old Fireblade and I believed he lived in Leeds. A few weeks later I got a summons for falling to name the driver. I have checked Google and I am down for six points. I already have three, what can I do?

Answer

If you plead guilty you are going to go down for six points, whatever happens. If you go not guilty, six points and a bigger fine and a few extra quid on the prosecution costs.

For what it is worth, I actually believe your story. However, I am a motorcyclist myself, and I can see how you came to lend your motorcycle to somebody with whom you only had a loose association. I wouldn’t do it now, but I am a cynical middle aged solicitor but I could have done it when I was younger, more trusting and dafter.

You have no actual obligation in law to keep a record of who is riding your motorcycle (different rules apply, for example, to company vehicles, but not to private vehicles) and if you have a couple of the other lads that you were with who actually saw this whole conversation occur and can confirm that the motorcycle was lent to a third party then you might be found not guilty.

The police in your case have not put in an alternative offence, which I know that some forces do, which is allowing the motorcycle to be used without insurance, because you cannot prove that the person you lent the motorcycle to was insured under your motorbike policy unless the motorcycle is insured for any rider, which is highly unlikely.

If the alternative charge had been put of you allowing your motorcycle to be used while uninsured, the burden of proof reverses and it is upon you to show that the motorcycle was insured, which you clearly will not be able to do.

However there are other technical defences to that but as it isn’t your problem, I will leave that very dry topic alone. I do not think you would benefit from getting legal representation in court.

Your story is your story, you can give direct evidence of it and you can tell it as well as anyone else can. Also, you may get an easier time off the magistrates than a professional lawyer might. It would be helpful if you had a couple of other witnesses, and they do not have to be independent, saying the same thing as you, but if you are not telling the truth, do not put your mates into a position where they are perjuring themselves, because you will all be keeping each other company in prison.

If your story is true, and it has a ring of truth about it to me, and others can back it up it is at least worth a shot, if the magistrates do not believe you, you are not going to do worse than six points, but the fine will be bigger. If they do believe you then they will have to find you not guilty.

Good luck. I think that you are on a sticky wicket, but not an entirely hopeless one. You might get off with the magistrates telling you off for being a bit na├»ve but I’d take that over six points. Suck it up, look contrite and realise you are at the mercy of three stout citizens who’ve seen a lot worse than your terrible crime.

Your mates confirming your evidence would really help but they will be cross examined and if the story starts falling to pieces because it isn’t true, points will be the least of your problems and Leeds Prison does not do very well on Trip Adviser, even if it rebranded from Armley Jail

Andrew Dalton

Fast Bikes Summer 2018

Posted by Andrew Dalton. Last modified: August 24, 2018 at 9:49 am

Andrew Dalton is a highly experienced trial lawyer who delights in taking on difficult and demanding motorcycle cases. He has a tough and relentless litigation style and is utterly focused on getting the best possible outcomes for his clients.

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