Law Reports: CASE SUMMARIES: 16 FEBRUARY 1998

Law Reports

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

Binding over

R v Clerkenwell Justices, ex p Hooper; QBD (Div Ct) (Simon Brown LJ, Mance J) 20 Jan 1998.

If a magistrate, who was contemplating binding over a defendant who had created a disturbance in court to secure his good behaviour until his next court appearance, intended not merely that the defendant should enter into his own recognisance but also that there should be a surety, he had to give the defendant or his representative an opportunity to make representations, since a defendant should not be put in peril of going to prison in default of finding a suitable surety without such an opportunity.

Leon Daniel (Winstanley-Burgess) for the applicant; Ian Burnett (Treasury Solicitor) for the justices.

Tax

Hurley v Taylor (Inspector of Taxes); ChD (Park J) 20 Jan 1998.

In making tax assessments outside the six-year time limit, the burden of proof was on the Revenue under s 36(1) of the Taxes Management Act 1970 to show a loss of tax attributable to fraudulent or negligent conduct on the part of the taxpayer. That burden was not satisfied if the appeal commissioners did not positively disbelieve the taxpayer's evidence. It was not enough that they simply did not accept it.

Robert Argles (T.G. Baynes, Orpington) for the taxpayer; Bruce Carr (IR Solicitor) for the Crown.

Costs

R v Bow Street Magistrates' Court, ex p Screen Multimedia Ltd & anor; QBD (Div Ct) (Schiemann LJ, Douglas Brown J) 13 January 1998.

Where an applicant had been convicted of distributing unlicensed video cassettes as a result of a prosecution brought by the Mechanical Copyright Protection Society, the fact that the profit lost as a result of the applicant being unlicensed was a matter of pence did not mean that the incurring of large sums in costs by the society was unreasonable, since the research necessary in order to find persons contravening the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988, which justified such prosecutions, was expensive.

Stuart Lawson-Rogers QC (H. Montlake & Co, Ilford) for the applicant; the respondent did not appear and was not represented.

VAT

Town and County Factors Ltd v Customs and Excise; Customs and Excise v Town and County Factors Ltd; QBD (Carnwath J) 23 Jan 1998.

A reference was made to the European Court of Justice asking (1) whether VAT was chargeable on fees paid by players in a spot-the-ball game, the transaction being expressed to be "binding in honour only"; and (2) if it was, whether the value of the supply was the total amount of the fees received for each game, or that amount less the prize money paid out.

Roderick Cordara QC, Perdita Cargill-Thompson (Legal Dept, Ladbroke Group plc) for the taxpayer; Dr Paul Lasok QC, Peter Mantle (Solicitor, Customs and Excise) for the Crown

Bail

Re G (a minor); QBD (Div Ct) (Simon Brown LJ, Mance J) 14 January 1998.

The requirement in s 7(4) of the Bail Act 1976 that an arrested person should be brought before a justice of the peace within 24 hours of his arrest pursuant to s 7(3) of the Act was not satisfied by his being brought to the court building within the time limit. The wording of s 7(4) was plain: the time limit was absolute, and a failure to comply resulted in the unlawful detention of the arrested person.

Jeremy Roussal (Bird & Co, Grantham) for the applicant; Ian Ashford-Thom (Treasury Solicitor) for the respondent.

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