CASE SUMMARIES 6 November 1995

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

Compensation order

Gamage v DPP; QBD (DC) (Rose LJ, Wright J); 16 Oct 1995

A compensation order made in favour of two individuals and 12 hotels for pounds 2,428.05 to be paid at the rate of pounds 5 per week in respect of offences of deception was excessive. A compensation order stretching over nine and a half years was not one at which a reasonable court could arrive since there was no certainty that the companies in whose favour the compensation order had been made would still be trading at the end of the period, and the administrative burden of distributing the weekly amount between so many claimants made the order wrong in principle.

Nigel J Daley (Turners, Bournemouth) for the applicant.

Evidence

R v Gilfoyle; CA (Crim Div) (Beldam LJ, Scott Baker, Hidden JJ); 20 Oct 1995

The Court of Appeal has power under s 23(1) of the Criminal Appeal Act 1968 not only to receive admissible evidence which would afford a ground for allowing an appeal, but has a wider discretion if it thinks it necessary or expedient in the interests of justice to order any witness to attend for examination and to be examined before the court, whether or not he testified at the trial. Section 23 confers on the court a discretion confined only by the requirement that the court must be satisfied that it is necessary or expedient in the interests of justice to require the evidence to be given. The Court of Appeal therefore had power, of its own initiative, to receive evidence if relevant and admissible, which had been ruled as inadmissible hearsay at the trial.

Michael Mansfield QC and James H. Gregory (Registrar of Criminal Appeals) for the appellant; Rodney Klevan QC and Brian Lewis (CPS) for the Crown.

Rates

Kingston-upon-Thames Royal Borough Council v Marlow; QBD (DC) (Simon Brown LJ, Scott Baker J); 23 Oct 1995

A tenant was not liable for non-domestic rates where he had relinquished possession of office premises in response to forfeiture proceedings issued by the landlord. Although service of proceedings for forfeiture did not determine the lease, the vacating of premises by a tenant would indicate acceptance of termination of the lease, whereupon the landlord would become liable for rates.

Brian Langstaff QC and Anthony Bradley (Council Solicitor) for the council; Graham Clarke (Marlows, Kingston-upon-Thames) for the defendant.

Revenue

Melluish (Inspector of Taxes) v BMI and conjoined appeals; HL (Lord Goff of Chieveley, Lord Browne-Wilkinson, Lord Slynn of Hadley, Lord Nicholls of Birkenhead and Lord Steyn); 12 Oct 1995

Chattels fixed to and becoming part of the land of the lessee were not capable of "belonging" to a leasing company for the purposes of claims by the leasing company for capital allowances under the Finance Act 1971, s 44(1). Further, claims under Finance Act 1985, Sch 17, para 3 (Expenditure Incurred by Equipment Lessor after 11 August 1994) in respect of leases of equipment to local authorities and fixed to the land, were not precluded by the fact that the local authority was tax exempt. A similar claim relating to chattels not fixed to the land would be allowed, and no distinction was to be made if the chattel was a fixture. The Finance Act 1971, s 44(1) is now the Capital Allowances Act 1990, s 24(1) and the Finance Act 1985, Sch 17, para 3 is now the Capital Allowances Act 1990, s 53(1).

James Munby QC and Timothy Brennan (Inland Revenue Solicitor) for the Crown; Graham Aaronson QC, Paul Morgan QC and Stephen Jordan (Denton Hall) for the taxpayers.

In R v Secretary of State for the Home Department, ex p O'Dhuibhir (Independent, 24 October), Dinah Rose also appeared for the Home Secretary.

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