CASE SUMMARIES v 17 July 1995

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


McCann v Wright; CA (Nourse, Beldam, Evans LJJ); 15 June 1995

It was not a necessary precondition of the court's jurisdiction to attach a power of arrest to an injunction under s 2 of the Domestic Violence and Matrimonial Proceedings Act 1976, in either the case of a husband and wife or of co-habitees, that the parties should have been cohabiting at the time when the application for the injunction was made. However, in the case of co-habitees, the acts of violence complained of must have occurred before the co-habitation ceased.

Patrick Roche (Sopel & Co) for the appellant; Claire Heppenstall (Russell Jones & Walker) for the respondent.


Saddington v Colleys Professional Services (a firm); CA (Balcombe, Otton, Aldous LJJ); 14 June 1995

The giving of security for a loan by the person to whom the loan was made was not a loss causing damage. Accordingly, where a statement of claim alleging negligence by valuers in the valuation of the property pleaded the execution of a mortgage of the property as security for a loan as the only damage suffered, the statement of claim disclosed no cause of action.

Harold Burnett QC and Derek Holwill (Browne Jacobson, Nottingham) for the appellant; Ian Karsten QC and Oliver Wise (Hannah & Co, Peterborough) for the respondent.


Practice Direction: Court of Appeal: Citation of authority; CA (Sir Thomas Bingham MR, Auld, Ward LJJ); 22 June 1995

When authority is cited in written of oral submissions, the following practice should be followed. If a case is reported in the Law Reports published by the Incorporated Council of Law Reporting for England and Wales that report should be cited. If a case is not or not yet reported in the Law Reports, but is reported in the Weekly Law Reports or the All England Law Reports, that report should be cited. If a case is not reported in any of those series of reports, a report in any of the authoritative specialist series of reports may be cited. Such reports may not be readily available: photostat copies of the leading authorities or the relevant parts of such authorities should be annexed to written submissions, and it is helpful if photostat copies of the less frequently used series are made available in court.

If there were discrepancies between reports it was always helpful if alternative references were given. Where a reserved written judgment had not been reported, reference should be made to the official transcript and not to the handed down text of the judgment.

Practice Direction: Court of Appeal: Handed down judgments; CA (Sir Thomas Bingham MR, Auld, Ward LJJ); 22 June 1995

When the court, having previously reserved judgment, hands down its written judgment, without reading it aloud, copies are made available to the parties' legal advisers. The judgment is confidential until it is given in open court. Once judgment is pronounced in open court copies of the written judgment will be made available to recognised law reporters and representatives of the media. In cases of particular interest to the media it is helpful if requests for copies are intimated to the presiding Lord Justice's clerk in advance of judgment so that the likely demand for copies can be accurately estimated.

If any member of the public, not being a party, or a law reporter or a representative of the media, wishes to read the written judgment when it is handed down a copy will be made available for him or her to read and note in court on request made to the associate or clerk to the presiding Lord Justice. The copy must not be removed from the court and must be handed back after reading.

Any person who is supplied or read a handed-down judgment is bound by any direction given in a child case under s 39 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 or any other form of reporting restriction.

Road traffic

DPP v Coyle; QBD(DC)(Balcombe LJ, Buxton J); 23 June 1995

The fact that a police officer had not informed the defendant that the Lion Intoximeter had a three-minute cycle until after the defendant's first attempt to blow into the machine could not amount to a reasonable excuse for failing to provide a specimen of breach because there was no obligation on a police officer to so inform the defendant and therefore the fact of not being informed could not of itself count as a reasonable excuse.

T Kahn (CPS) for the prosecutor; Nigel Sangster (Cadmans, Cleckheaton) for the defendant.


R v Warren; R v Beeley; CA (Crim Div)(Lord Taylor of Gosforth, LCJ, Rougier, Ebsworth JJ); 22 June 1995

In determining the level of sentencing for offences involving the drug Ecstasy, the major criteria should be placed on the weight of the drug's active constituent rather than its street value. As guidance, most tablets contained an average close to 100mg of the active constituent. Other factors which the court would have to weigh in deciding the appropriate sentence included the role of the offender, his plea, any assistance he might give to the authorities.

Louis French (Registrar of Criminal Appeals; Coodes, Newquay) for the appellants; David Paget QC and Emma Broadbent (Customs & Excise Solicitor) for the Crown.

R v Wilson; CA(Crim Div)(Pill LJ, Buckley, Laws JJ); 24 May 1995

Great care should be taken by doctors when expressing an opinion to the court in circumstances where a hospital order under s 37 of the Mental Health Act 1983 and a restriction order under s 41 of that Act are contemplated. The court needed to construe carefully the evidence before such orders were made.

Simon Vaughn (Registrar of Criminal Appeals) for the appellant; Nigel Pleming (Treasury Solicitor) as amicus curiae.