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20.—(1) Subject to the following provisions of this regulation, in proceedings for an offence under regulation 15(1)(a), (c) or (d), a person who is shown to have taken all reasonable steps and exercised all due diligence to avoid committing the offence shall have a defence.
(2) Where, in any proceedings against a person for such an offence, the defence provided by paragraph (1) involves an allegation that the commission of the offence was due to—
(a)the act or default of another; or
(b)reliance on information given by another,
such a defence shall not, without leave of the court, be relied on unless, not later than seven clear days before the hearing of the proceedings (or, in Scotland, the trial diet), that person has served a notice in accordance with paragraph (3) on the person bringing the proceedings.
(3) A notice under this regulation shall give such information identifying or assisting in the identification of the person who committed the act or default or gave the information as is in the possession of the person serving the notice at the time it is served.
(4) A person shall not be entitled to rely on the defence provided by paragraph (1) by reason of that person’s reliance on information supplied by another, unless it is shown that it was reasonable in all the circumstances for that person to have relied on the information, having regard in particular to—
(a)the steps which that person took and those which might reasonably have been taken, for the purpose of verifying the information; and
(b)whether that person had any reason to disbelieve the information.
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