CASE SUMMARIES v 23 October 1995

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

Crime

R v Beswick; CA (Cr Div) (Stuart-Smith LJ, Jowitt, Steel JJ) 14 August 1995.

A court should always seek to sentence an offender on a true basis. Thus the prosecution should not lend itself to any agreement with the defence (i.e. to accept a plea of guilty to a particular offence) founded on an unreal and untrue set of facts. If that occurred, the judge was entitled to direct the trial of an issue so he could determine the true factual basis. A prior agreement between prosecution and defence must therefore be considered as conditional upon the approval of the judge.

Tonia Grace (Registrar of Criminal Appeals) for the appellant; Mark Fireman (CPS Manchester) for the Crown. Neither counsel appeared below.

Disclosure

Re A (a minor); CA (Butler-Sloss, Simon Brown, Saville LJJ) 17 October 1995.

For documents in care proceedings in the Family Proceedings Court to be disclosed to the defence in a criminal trial in which the child concerned was a witness, the leave of the family court was required whether the application be made under r 4.23 of the Family Proceedings Rules 1991, s 12 of the Administration of Justice Act 1960 or the court's inherent jurisdiction. In considering whether to grant leave, the court had to balance the importance of maintaining confidentiality in family cases against the public interest in making relevant information available for a criminal trial. The purpose for which the information was required, its weight and significance, the importance of the child as a witness and the gravity of the offence with which the accused was charged were all relevant to that balancing exercise.

Peter Jackson (Venters & Co) for the applicant; Heather MacGregor (Philcox Gray) for the respondent.

Housing

R v Islington LBC, ex p Hind; CA (Peter Gibson, Otton LJJ, Sir Roger Parker) 17 October 1995.

In considering whether a housing authority had given adequate reasons, pursuant to s 64(4) of the Housing Act 1985, when notifying an applicant of its decision that he was intentionally homeless, it was necessary for the court to examine the decision letter in the context of the decision- making process and the findings of fact made by the authority. Although the authority should provide "proper, adequate and intelligible" reasons, it was not required in each case to separate fact from value judgement, or that it must first list its findings of fact and then set out the conclusions drawn therefrom.

Patrick Clarkson QC, Megan Thomas (Marie Rosenthal, Islington) for the authority; James Bowen (Wilson & Co) for the applicant.

Insolvency

Re Cancol Ltd; ChD (Knox J) 4 October 1995.

Future rent under an existing lease was not incapable of being included in a company voluntary arrangement.

Stephen Schaw Miller (Abbott King & Troen) for the applicant; Jonathan Nash (Lovell White Durrant) for the respondents.

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