Law Report: Case Summaries

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The following notes of judgments were prepared by the reporters of the All England Law Reports.

Contempt

Guildford Borough Council v Valler & ors; CA (Russell, Staughton, Steyn LJJ) 4 Oct 1993.

The High Court had jurisdiction to commit for contempt whenever contempt involved a degree of fault or misconduct, including negligent failure to comply with an injunction, even if the court considered the contemnor had good reason for not complying with it. However, there was no automatic right to enforcement of an injunction by imprisonment; the court retained a discretion to refuse enforcement.

Timothy Straker (Sharpe Pritchard, for Helen B Sutherland, Guildford) for the council; Jonathan Clay (Paul Grommett & Co) for the defendants.

Costs

Nader v Customs & Excise Commissioners; CA (Farquharson, Beldam, Henry LJJ). 13 Oct 1993.

A litigant in person who has succeeded before the VAT tribunal, unlike a successful litigant in person in the High Court, is entitled only to costs for out-of-pocket expenses. He is not entitled to profit costs such as might be paid to a solicitor for preparing the case. RSC Ord 62, r18 does not apply since no order has been made by the Lord Chancellor to bring the VAT tribunal within the Litigants In Person (Costs & Expenses) Act 1975.

The applicant in person; Stephen Richards (Customs & Excise Solicitor) for the respondent.

Fraud

R v V; CA (Crim Div) (Rose LJ, Turner, Judge JJ). 22 Sept 1993.

A defendant might appeal under s9(11) of the Criminal Justice Act 1987 against a case management decision by the judge at a preliminary hearing in a serious fraud case, but it was clearly only where the judge's approach was fundamentally flawed that such an appeal would have any prospect of success.

Anthony Scrivener QC and Anthony Shaw (Simpson Curtis, Leeds) for the appellant; Anthony Hacking QC and James Pavry (Serious Fraud Office) for the Crown.

Crime

R v Cain; CA (Crim Div) (Hobhouse LJ, Judge, Bell JJ). 15 Oct 1993.

Where a defendant of bad character, evidence of whose previous convictions is before the jury, is tried together with a defendant of good character, the requirement for appropriate directions about the possible relevance of character to credibility and propensity applied equally to both defendants.

Edward Rees (Registrar of Criminal Appeals) for the applicant; Walter Bealby (CPS, Harrow) for the Crown.

Charity

R v Wain; CA (Crim Div) (McCowan LJ, Ognall, Gage JJ). 12 Oct 1993.

A collector of money for charity was under an obligation to deal with the money so raised or its proceeds in a particular way, namely by handing it over to the charity. Preferring Davidge v Bunnett (1984) Crim LR 297 to Lewis v Lethbridge (1987) Crim LR 59, the court held that the trial judge had correctly rejected a submission that there was no case to go to the jury and the appeal against conviction for theft under s5(3) of the Theft Act 1968 would be dismissed.

Mark McKone (Registrar of Criminal Appeals) for the appellant; Tim Clayson (CPS, York) for the Crown.

Employment

Norcros plc v Hopkins; CA (Russell, Staughton, Steyn LJJ). 7 Oct 1993.

Where an employee who had been wrongfully dismissed had opted to receive his pension under the company pension scheme, the court was bound by Parry v Cleaver (1969) 1 All ER 555 to hold that the pension receipts were not to be deducted from the agreed damages for wrongful dismissal. A pension was in the same position as an insurance policy: the employee did not have to give credit, having paid the premiums from his own money.

Philip Naughton QC and Adrian Lynch (Slaughter & May) for the company; Stephen Auld (Clifford Chance) for the employee.

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