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It Is What It Looks Like!

22nd May, 2012

In VOSA –v– Kayes the Divisional Court has dismissed VOSA’s appeal against an acquittal by the Magistrates relating to the use of a showman’s vehicle.

The Defendant was a member of the Showman’s Guild and provides catering facilities at shows and fairgrounds.  He did this from a specially designed vehicle.  The vehicle was such that ordinarily it would require an operator’s licence and a test certificate.  However, as a showman’s vehicle neither of these were necessary.  There was also a reduced rate of road tax payable and an exemption from the use of tachograph recording equipment.  After a roadside check VOSA took the view that the vehicle was not within the meaning of a “showman’s goods vehicle” as defined in Section 62 of the Vehicle & Excise Registration Act 1994.  The showman was prosecuted for a range of offences related to the use of this vehicle.

In May 2011 the Magistrates found the Defendant was “self-evidently a showman”, that it therefore followed that his vehicle was a “showman’s goods vehicle” and that he was entitled to rely on the showman’s exemptions.  He was acquitted.  VOSA then appealed by way of a case stated.  The Divisional Court found that any person would expect a show to include catering facilities and ruled that the Magistrates’ decision was correct and dismissed VOSA’s appeal.

If you would like advice regarding the issue raised in this article, please contact Tim Culpin on 01244 405533 or by email to [email protected].

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