CASE SUMMARIES v 12 May 1997

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

Evidence

R v Highbury Corner Magistrates' Court, ex parte Antonelli; QBD Div Ct (Pill LJ, Astill J) 30 April 1997.

There was nothing in the Magistrates' Courts Act 1980 to support the view that, as a matter of law, once other submissions had been made during committal proceedings at the behest of the magistrate, there was a duty to re-state an objection to the admission of witness statements under s 102 of the 1980 Act.

Renee Calder (Abrahamson Associates) for the applicant; Hugo Keith (DTI Solicitor) as an interested party. The respondents did not appear and were not represented.

R v Vaughan; CA Cr Div (McCowan LJ, Ognall J, Sedley J) 30 April 1997.

Where an ad hoc confrontation identification of a suspect was carried out, it was important that a note of the witness's description of the offender should be taken before the confrontation, and that that note should be available at the trial. That requirement was not mere bureaucracy, but ensured the best safeguard that had so far been devised against the possibility of auto-suggestion.

Michael Conning (Registrar of Criminal Appeals) for the appellant; Nicholas Peacock (CPS) for the Crown.

Company

Re Philip Powis Ltd; Ch D (Sir John Knox, sitting as a judge of the High Court) 25 April 1997.

The court had no power, when making an order under s 651 of the Companies Act 1985 (as amended by the Companies Act 1989) declaring a company's dissolution to have been void, to add a term to the effect that an action, which was on foot but had not come to trial when the company was dissolved, should be deemed to be valid and continuing in existence.

Andrew de la Rosa (Jonathan Hatton, Daventry) for the applicant; Philip Flower (Ironsides, Northampton) for Sun Alliance.

Building Society

Gyoury v Northern Rock Building Society; Ch D (Carnwath J) 18 April 1997.

The statutory obligation imposed by s 22 of the Building Societies Act 1986 applied only to liabilities which had become due by the date on which a body corporate ceased to be a subsidiary of the building society, and not to any existing or prospective liablilities identifiable at that date even if they only fell to be discharged after the severing of the association. Although s 22 was repealed on 11 June 1996 by the Deregulation (Building Societies) Order 1995, art 5 preserved its effect in relation to any liability arising out of an obligation entered into before that date.

Robin Hollington (Berrymans) for the plaintiff; Richard Sheldon QC (Dickinson Dees, Newcastle-upon-Tyne) for the defendant.

Costs

R v Metropolitan Stipendiary Magistrate, ex parte Ali; QBD Crown Office List (Latham J) 28 April 1997.

Where a stipendiary magistrate refused to state a case when requested, and continued in that refusal even after the judge's granting leave to move for judicial review had indicated that without a stated case it was impossible to know whether the magistrate's decision had been flawed, it was appropriate, exceptionally, to make an order for costs against the magistrate. The order would be made even though she had not appeared before the court either at the stage of granting of leave or on the subsequent application, and would run from the date of issue of the proceedings.

Robert Latham (Hodge Jones & Allen) for the applicant; the respondent did not appear and was not represented.

Sentence

R v Chamberlain; CA Cr Div (Stuart Smith LJ, Eadey J, Judge Beaumont) 28 April 1997.

A sentence of four and a half years' imprisonment on a defendant who pleaded guilty to being concerned in the management of premises used for the production of a Class B drug was not too long. The situation was analogous to that in cases of drugs importation. The cultivation of cannabis was increasingly being adopted to overcome the problems of importation, and deterrent sentences were necessary to prevent the commission of such offences.

Charles Bott (Registrar of Criminal Appeals) for the appellant.

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