The country’s leading traffic lawyer has called for Staffordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner to resign after potentially prejudicing scores of drink driving cases.
Responding to criticism that his force had committed trial via social media by “naming and shaming” those charged with alcohol or drug related motoring offences on Twitter, Matthew Ellis said “no-one will be named where there is any doubt”.
This comment has now led Nick Freeman to call for the former Lichfield district councillor to stand down from his £75,000 a year post.
Mr Freeman said: “Over the last 30 years I have successfully defended and had acquitted, in excess of 1,000 motorists charged with drink driving.
“Mr Ellis should carefully consider his position as he has again shown a scant understanding of the legal process.
“By his comments he is now presuming that everyone named by his officers are guilty as charged, even before they have appeared before a court. In other words, as I have previously stated, he is demonstrating a cavalier disregard for the presumption of innocence.
“His comments have potentially prejudiced every drink driving case before it is heard. However, it goes much further than just drink and drug driving cases, and clearly says everyone charged by his force, and then named by them, is guilty.”
Manchester-based Mr Freeman, whose firm Freeman & Co has represented some of the country’s best known celebrities, added: “Two weeks ago on live radio Mr Ellis said we had a very low drink driving level when in fact it is the highest in the EU.
“He compounded this error by falsely stating that he thought the drink drive limit was 35 milligrammes of alcohol per 100ml of blood, whereas it is in fact 80 milligrammes.”
For Further Information, Please Contact:
Nick Freeman, Freeman & Co, on 0161 236 7007/07778 159 882
David Simister, Different PR, on 0845 389 26 26/07870 550 760