Looking back at it, the sad thing is, despite not being convicted, I could not get any of my costs back because the prosecution would only refund the legal costs at an LHA rate. This means that if I paid £200 or £300 an hour to my solicitors I would just get a refund of only £70 an hour. Does this sound reasonable?
The time the Council prosecuted me for double-using a parking ticket on the same day for both my car and our company van, which is a very good use of taxpayer’s money, I Gian Paolo Aliatis was acquitted because at the last minute we learnt that they had lost the parking ticket. Again, they did not mention this at the beginning of the trial which they should have dropped the case in the first place because of the lack of evidence. Still, they still went through the whole trial, spending taxpayer’s money. A team of 5 people from the Council attended no doubt who are on decent sized salaries. Who knows how long it took them to prepare the case and how much money they spent on it, but I could not get my cost back and I still do not understand why.
In the case against the Council, where they came after Lifestyle Club, they told my lawyers that the trial would happen in the magistrate court. They changed their mind one day before the trial at 05:00 PM. At this time, they decided that they were going to take this case to the Crown Court. This meant more money to spend. In the next two hearings, they added or removed or reformulated charges one day before every trial making us and the taxpayers spend so much more money in reformulating the defences and court resources. But as you can see, they can do whatever they want, that is how the system works.
I am happy that regardless of the facts I think that the last judge did not use a legal approach to the case. It seems to me that he completely understood the incompetence of the prosecution team and understood that I was an individual that needed to be, let’s call it taxed just a little bit and that tried to play in that grey area and take advantage of it.
I ended up with a small fine and a much deeper understanding of the UK judicial system, the civil matters, criminal matters, the county courts, magistrate courts, the crown court, lawyers, solicitors and barristers etc. There is of course always more to learn but I have experienced more than the average person. I have won many cases and have lost some but all those experiences gave me, Paolo Aliatis, so much more knowledge of how this legal system works. I am not scared and I am also well prepared every time a situation like this comes up. I guess being a big player in the flatshare industry for so many years will lead you to moments like this. In the property business, there will always be some form of litigation, big or small, waiting round the corner.