Monday 21 May 2012

Addison Lee boss may face criminal charges

Addison Lee boss John Griffin may face criminal charges after encouraging his minicab firm's drivers to break the law by driving in London bus lanes, says The Times.

Griffin, who caused controversy last week when he said that cyclists who are killed or injured in London have only themselves to blame, had promised that the firm would pay any fines incurred by the drivers. The Crown Prosecution Service will now decide if Griffin can be charged with encouraging or assisting an offence, which replaced incitement to commit a criminal act in 2008 as part of the Serious Crime Act. There are three relevant sections in the Act - Section 44 refers to cases in which the accused is deemed to have carried out an act capable of encouraging or assisting the commission of an offence and intending to encourage or assist its commission; Section 45 refers to those in which the accused believes that the act will as a result be committed and knows that the act will encourage or assist the commission of it; Section 46 - which seems most relevant in the circumstances - refers to those in which the accused believes that one or more of those offences will be committed, but having no belief as to which, and that the act will encourage or assist the commission of one or more of them.

The maximum penalty appears to be equal to that for the crime that has been encouraged (don't quote me on that one, I'm not a lawyer) which, for driving in a bus lane, is a £130 penalty. There is presumably some scope for deciding how many of Addison Lee's drivers might have committed the offence and how often - if so, as the company has 3,500 vehicles, Griffin's promise to his drivers might turn out to cost a great deal more than he thought.

The full Times article can be read here.


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