Case Summaries: 22 February 1999

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THE FOLLOWING notes of judgments were prepared by the reporters of the All England Law Reports.

Criminal injuries

R v Secretary of State for the Home Department and anor, ex p C; QBD, Crown Office List (Nigel Pleming QC sitting as a deputy High Court judge) 3 Feb 1999.

IT WAS not unlawful for the Secretary of State to produce a scheme for compensation for criminal injuries under which a "single incident" could cover non-consenual intercourse by two or more attackers, and which therefore necessarily embraced the possibility of more than one assault, by more than one person, in the course of that single incident. The scheme clearly fell within the statutory framework provided by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Act 1995.

Elizabeth Woodcraft (Simcox Associates) for the applicant; Alice Robinson (Treasury Solicitor) for the Secretary of State.

Waste disposal

R v North Yorkshire County Council, ex p Scarborough Borough Council; QBD, Crown Office List (Collins J) 8 Feb 1999.

IN R 2(2) of the Environmental Protection (Waste Recycling Payments) Regulations 1992, which provided that the payment which a waste disposal authority was required by s 52(1) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 to make to a waste collection authority for the recycling of waste should be calculated by reference to the disposal authority's "most expensive disposal method for waste collected in the relevant area", the word "method" referred to a particular disposal contract, not to the general mode of disposal.

Richard Langham (Borough Solicitor) for the applicant; William Upton (County Head of Legal Services) for the respondent.

Highway

Ward Construction (Medway) Ltd v Kent County Council; CA (Henry, Ward LJJ, Sir Christopher Staughton) 5 Feb 1999.

THE WORDS "towards the expenses incurred in . . . executing the said works" in s 278 of the Highways Act 1980 were not limited to the cost of building and engineering work, but also included the cost of acquisition of land where that was necessary for the execution of the works. It was clear that developers who entered into agreements with highway authorities under s 278 were to make contributions based on the total cost of the works, including acquisition costs.

Malcolm Spence QC, Adrian Trevelyan Thomas, Thomas Lowe (Sharpe Pritchard as London agents for Kent County Council) for the council; Gerard Ryan QC, Rodney Stewart-Smith (Kingsley Smith & Co, Chatham) for Wards.

Legal aid

R v Legal Aid Board, ex p Reseigh; QBD, Crown Office List (Moses J) 4 Feb 1999.

WHEN CONSIDERING an application for legal aid, the Legal Aid Board was entitled to consider the jurisdiction of the small claims court, which was founded on the value of the claim, before considering the complexity of the case and the applicant's circumstances. If the claim fell within the small claims jurisdiction, the next step was to determine whether the applicant should nevertheless have legal aid in the light of the circumstances.

Josephine Henderson (Moss & Co) for the applicant; Javan Herberg (Legal Aid Board Legal Department) for the Board.

Solicitor

Gregory v Shepherds (a firm); Chancery Division (Judge Behrens sitting as a deputy High Court judge) 8 Feb 1999.

WHERE A Spanish lawyer instructed by an English solicitor in connection with a property transaction in Spain carried out his instructions negligently, his negligence could not be imputed to the English solicitor. The Spanish lawyer's services were not part and parcel of the services provided by the English solicitor: he was an independent Spanish legal expert instructed by the English solicitor on behalf of the client, and not the solicitor's agent.

Katharine Holland (Pickering Butters) for the plaintiff; Richard Walford (Wansbroughs Willey Hargrave) for the defendant.

Sentencing

R v Gloucester Crown Court, ex p McGeary; QBD, Div Ct (Lord Bingham CJ, Brian Smedley J) 1 Feb 1999.

IT WAS doubtful whether it would ever be appropriate for a Crown Court, on appeal, to lengthen a sentence imposed by a magistrates' court in order to ensure supervision of the defendant upon release. Accordingly, the decision to increase the defendant's sentence from six months' to 12 months' imprisonment would be quashed.

Edward Burgess (Gadd & Partners, Cheltenham) for the applicant; the respondent did not appear.

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