CASE SUMMARIES 5 February 1996

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

Betting

R v Horserace Totaliser Board, ex p William Hill; QBD (Macpherson J); 15 Dec 1995.

The Horserace Totaliser Board's discretion under s 14(1) of the Betting, Gaming & Lotteries Act 1963 was wide. The power to determine what charges to make was vested solely in the board itself and provided its decisions as to charges were rationally made they were enforceable. The differentiation of fees was not unlawful provided there was a legitimate basis for it and there was no evidence of mala fides.

David Pannick QC (Allen & Overy) for the applicant; Michael Beloff QC, Helen Mountfield (Rowe & Mawe) for the respondent.

Compensation

R v Redbridge Magistrates, ex p Guppy; QB Div Ct (Schiemann LJ, Holland J); 21 Dec 1995.

The applicant having made himself bankrupt five weeks after the imposition of a compensation order under which he was given three months to pay with up to three years' imprisonment in default, the magistrates were entitled to find him guilty of wilful refusal and culpable neglect to pay and to impose a prison sentence, even though all the applicant's assets were vested in his trustee in bankruptcy. Payment of the compensation order became due as soon as it was made, albeit that no sanction for non-payment could be imposed until the three months had expired.

Spenser Hilliard (Afzal) for the applicant; Nigel Sweeney (Clyde & Co) for the Boden Syndicate at Lloyd's, an interested party; James Curtis QC (CPS) for the prosecution.

Evidence

R v Lee (Robert); CA (Cr Div) (Russell LJ, Rougier J, Judge Rhys Davies QC) 15 Dec 1995.

The words "threat or injury" in s 32(2)(a) of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 (which in combination with s 32(1)(b) enabled a child to give evidence by video or television link) applied to the offence and not the offender; they did not necessarily involve any threat of injury to any particular person and certainly not to the person giving evidence by video or television link. An offence involved a threat of injury within the meaning of s 32(2)(a) if the circumstances were such that injury to a person was a real possibility. Thus evidence in an arson trial could be given through a live television link or video recording as the circumstances of the offence involved being reckless whether life was being endangered.

Simon Csoka, who did not appear in the court below (Middleweeks, Manchester) for the appellant; Roger Hedgeland (CPS) for the Crown.

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