A South London scaffolding firm boss has had the weight taken off his shoulders after turning to celebrity lawyer Nick Freeman’s road haulage division after being charged with dangerously over loading his wagon.
According to police who intercepted Andrew Swann en route to a private weighbridge, the load on his Mistubishi Canter flatbed van was the equivalent to him carrying an African bull elephant, which would have rendered his vehicle un-drivable.
Despite charging him with three offences – overloading the gross weight of the vehicle, overloading the rear axle and dangerous loading – the officers refused to show him their evidence.
Unladen, the wagon weighs 1.8 tonnes, and, when fully loaded, its weight should not exceed a maximum of 3.5 tonnes. But, according to the read-out from the privately-operated weighbridge, which is located near Hampton Court, it claimed Mr Swann’s wagon weighed a total of 7.2 tonnes, 108 per cent over the maximum!
Had the court found against Mr Swann, who was carrying scaffolding boards and poles, he would have been liable to a fine adding up to more than 1,000 per cent of his weekly income for the first two offences, plus an additional fine of up to £2,500 for the third.
And, if these financial penalties failed to put him out of business, there was every likelihood the Traffic Commissioner would have found that Mr Swann had “lost his repute” and revoked his recently acquired operator’s licence.
Mr Freeman, aka Mr Loophole, said: “This is our road haulage and transport division’s first trial, and I’m delighted with the result.
“If the police were right, Mr Swann’s wagon was overloaded by more than 108 per cent.
“It’s not the largest of wagons, yet the weight they accused him of carrying was the equivalent of him transporting a very large African bull elephant!
“At no stage did the officers show my client any read-out from the weighbridge. Instead, in very crude terms, they told him he was guilty as charged!
“However, in this country, the presumption of innocence hangs by a thread, but yet still remains. What the prosecution failed to factor into their case was the accuracy of the weighbridge.
“When we asked the prosecution to provide evidence of this, they were unable to.
Instead, they offered no evidence, and Mr Swann was acquitted.
“Had Mr Swann been convicted of these allegations, the consequences would have been catastrophic for him and his business.”
Further information about Nick Freeman’s road haulage and transport division can be found on the website, http://www.haulagesolicitors.co.uk/.
About Nick Freeman
Nick Freeman is probably the best known solicitor practising in the country today.
He has been dubbed "Mr Loophole" by the press owing to his vast technical knowledge of motoring law matters and his ability to successfully challenge the prosecution over procedural irregularities.
Nick is widely known for his celebrity client list and high profile criminal defence cases.
Nick is the head of Freeman & Co. Solicitors and although based in Manchester, represents defendants in motoring and criminal cases all over the country.
After graduating from Chester Law School in 1979, Nick started his career as a prosecuting solicitor for Greater Manchester Police.
Nick soon became known for his technical legal abilities and robust court room style and he was soon recruited into private practice by the highly respected solicitors firm of Burton & Co. He was soon to be made a partner at the practice but in 1999 he decided to start his own firm following which Freeman & Co. was formed.
Owing to Nick's meticulous case preparation and technical legal skill he soon made Freeman & Co. one of the most respected and sought after criminal solicitors firms in the country.
Despite the celebrity client list and media attention, Nick and Freeman & Co. have built their practice on representing ordinary members of the public with the same tenacity as those more high profile cases that are reported in the press and on TV.
Outside of his professional practice Nick is a regular expert guest on TV and radio and is well regarded as an expert legal commentator. He is an ardent supporter of defendant anonymity in sex cases.
In recent times his credits have included Tonight With Trevor MacDonald, Close Up North West, Channel 4 News, BBC Radio 4 and BBC Radio 5 Live to name but a few. He also appears regularly on Sky News, BBC News 24 and Legal Eagles on ITV's This Morning. Nick is a regular legal commentator for the Sunday Times.
A father of 2 children Nick is a keen golfer with a 2.9 handicap and enjoys vigorous exercise with his Staffordshire Bull Terrier.
Contacting Nick Freeman
For professional matters and representation Nick can be contacted through Freeman & Co. on 0161 236 7007 or you can send him a confidential email by clicking here.
If you would like to contact Nick for a media appearance or legal comment please call David Simister on 0845 389 26 26.