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Place: Sheffield Magistrates Court

Offence: Failing to Provide a Specimen of Breath for Analysis

Defence: Reasonable Excuse for Failing to Provide a Specimen of Breath

Carl Millar represented Ms G in relation to an allegation of failing to provide a specimen of breath for analysis.

Ms G had historical mental health issues including depression, which manifested itself in the form of panic and anxiety attacks.  Ms G was required to provide a sample of breath at the police station.  Despite her best efforts, she was unable to provide a specimen.  In evidence at the trial, the police officer conducting the procedure conceded that, “she did appear to try her very best”.  A half-time submission was submitted by Carl Millar at the trial whereby the Justices concurred that there was no case to answer even taking the prosecution’s case at its highest.

The defendant was acquitted and a defendants costs order was granted whereby she will receive reimbursement of some of the fees incurred for instructing Millars Solicitors.

(A half-time submission is whereby the defence solicitors are of the view that there is not enough evidence purely based on the prosecution evidence to take the case forward.  In Ms G’s case, it was pivotal to the case that the police officer conceded that the defendant tried her very best to provide a specimen of breath.  This was obviously helped by the fact that we had obtained an independent psychiatric report which confirmed that it was at last possible that Ms G could not provide a specimen of breath in the circumstances of having a panic or anxiety attack.  It is absolutely essential in all these cases to obtain an independent psychiatric report to support the case).


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