Case Summaries - 28 April 1997

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

Valuation

N v C; CA (Thorpe LJ, Sir Ralph Gibson) 21 Feb 1997.

Where a valuer had been appointed by a court in matrimonial property proceedings and it was alleged that the valuation had been vitiated by negligence, the correct procedure was not to bring proceedings alleging professional negligence against the valuer but to apply to the court which had made the original order. That was the forum in which any correction should be made since an alteration to the value would would disadvantage one of the parties to the matrimonial proceedings. Furthermore, on the husband's application for a ruling as to the correct value of the property concerned, the district judge had no power to alter the figure arrived at by the valuer.

Lord Meston QC (Vizards) for the valuer; the respondent in person.

VAT

Customs & Excise Commrs v British Fields Sports Society; QBD (Hidden J) 21 March 1997.

The campaigning activities of the society were to be treated as business activities in respect of which VAT paid could be claimed as input tax. The activities (which were not within the Value Added Tax Act 1994, s 94(2)(a) and (3)) were undertaken as consideration for the members' subscriptions.

Robert Jay (C&E) for the Crown; Andrew Park QC and Aparna Nathan (Knights, Tunbridge Wells) for the taxpayer.

Rosgill Group Ltd v Customs & Excise Commrs; CA (Sir Richard Scott V- C, Hobhouse LJ, Morritt LJ) 23 April 1997.

VAT on goods bought at a reduced price by a "hostess" who gave a party at which the taxpayer's goods were sold was to be accounted for at the full retail price. That was the reduced price paid plus the amount of the reduction which reflected the consideration for the hostess's services in providing the party.

Andrew Park QC, Hugh McKay (Shakespeares, Birmingham) for the taxpayer; Stephen Richards (C&E) for the Crown.

Insolvency

Re Mid East Trading Ltd; ChD (Evans-Lombe J) 18 April 1997

A stranger to a liquidation had no locus standi to apply to the court to rescind a winding-up order.

Michael Crystal QC, Robin Dicker (Lovell White Durrant) for the liquidator; Susan Prevezer (Denton Hall) for the petitioning creditor; Michael Brindle QC (Freshfields) for the respondents.

Education

R v East Sussex County Council, ex p Tandy; QBD Crown Office List (Keene J) 23 April 1997.

A local education authority, in determining what were "suitable arrangements" for a child who was unable to attend school by reason of illness, had to decide the matter using an objective test reflecting the individualised concept in s 298(7) of the Education Act 1993 and not one which varied according to the financial means of the provider.

Tim Kerr (Bates, Wells & Braithwaite) for the applicant; Rabinder Singh (Council Solicitor) for the council.

Crime

R v Jones (Keith); CA (Cr Div), (The Vice-President (Rose LJ), Stuart White, Astill JJ) 11 April 1997.

The Crown had relied on the evidence of a forensic scientist that the substance found in the possession of the appellant "appeared to contain cocaine of the highest purity". The court stated that the sooner prosecuting authorities took to heart the observations of Lord Mackay in R v Hunt [1987] AC 352 as to the desirability of clarity the better. That clarity could be achieved by the simplest form of words, whether by reference expressly to para 2 of Sched 5 to the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, or by other means.

Charles Salter (Registrar of Criminal Appeals) for the appellant; Nicholas A. Peacock (CPS) for the Crown.

Road Traffic

DPP v H; QBD Div Ct (McCowan LJ, Popplewell J) 15 April 1997.

An offence under s 5 of the Road Traffic Act 1988, of driving a motor vehicle having consumed so much alcohol that the prescribed limit was exceeded, was an offence of strict liability requiring no proof of mens rea. As the accused's state of mind was irrelevant to the commission of the offence, there was no possibility of raising a defence of insanity.

Nicholas Dean (CPS) for the DPP; the respondent did not appear and was not represented.

Dangerous Dogs

Rafiq v DPP; QBD Div Ct (Auld LJ, Popplewell J) 22 April 1997.

The fact that a dog attacked without prior warning was of itself capable of being conduct giving grounds for a reasonable apprehension that it would injure someone, for the purposes of s 3(1) of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991.

Tania Panagiotopoulo (Cooper & Co, Ash) for the appellant; Jeffrey Jupp (CPS) for the Crown.

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