CASE SUMMARIES v 26 June 1995

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

Bomb hoax

R v Webb; CA (Cr Div) (Swinton Thomas LJ, Popplewell, Harrison JJ) 8 June 1995.

The words "there is a bomb" used by a telephone hoaxer were sufficient to found an offence under s 51(2) of the Criminal Law Act 1977, for they indicated there was a bomb "somewhere". Further, the words in the subsection "in any place or location" meant "somewhere". The intention of s 51(2) did not require a specific place or location.

Brendon Corville (Registrar of Criminal Appeals) for the appellant; Richard Pratt (CPS) for the Crown.

Children

Re O (a minor); CA (Sir Thomas Bingham MR, Simon Brown, Swinton Thomas JJ) 14 March 1995.

The court had power, under ss 8 and 11(7) of the Children Act 1989, to compel a child's mother to send photographs, medical reports and school reports of the child to its father in order to promote meaningful contact between father and child.

Giles Pinkney (Turner & Morgan, Hartlepool) for the appellant; Rachel E Smith (Jamiesons, Peterlee) for the respondent.

Damages

White Arrow Express Ltd & ors v Lamey's Distribution Ltd; CA (Sir Thomas Bingham MR, Rose, Morritt LJJ) 15 June 1995.

An innocent party who contracted for a de luxe service and received a sub-standard service was not in principle denied a claim to more than nominal damages. However, an innocent party in such a position had to quantify, or at least provide evidence from which the court could draw an inference as to, the difference between the value of what was contracted for and the value of what was provided.

Geoffrey Tattersall QC, Stephen Stewart (Davies Wallis Foyster, Manchester) for the appellants; Nigel Inglis-Jones QC, David Westcott (Toller Beattie, Barnstaple) for the respondents.

Guarantee

Themehelp Ltd v West & ors; CA (Balcombe, Evans, Waite LJJ) 6 April 1995.

The court had jurisdiction to grant an interlocutory injunction, restraining the beneficiary of a performance guarantee from enforcing it on the grounds of fraud, in proceedings to which the guarantor was not a party, since such an injunction did not involve any threat to the autonomy of the guarantee or any risk to its integrity, but was merely an instance of equity intervening to restrain the beneficiary, until the day when his conscience stood trial, from enforcement of his legal rights against a third party.

Michael Ashe QC, Michael Roberts (Vizards) for the appellants; Kenneth Craig (Wollastons, Chelmsford) for the respondents.

Mental health

R v Cannons Park Mental Health Tribunal, ex p Martins; QBD (Ognall J) 7 June 1995.

For the purpose of computing time under s 75(2) of the Mental Health Act 1983, under which a restricted patient who had been conditionally discharged might apply to a mental health review tribunal between one and two years after the date of conditional discharge, he was to be treated as being conditionally discharged on the date of his release from hospital and not on the date when the decision so to discharge him was made.

Richard Gordon QC, Craig Marlow (TV Edwards) for the applicant; Ian Burnett (Treasury Solicitor) for the respondent.

Murder

R v Powell; R v Daniel; CA (Cr Div) (Lord Taylor CJ, Tucker, Forbes JJ) 25 May 1995.

To found a conviction for murder for a secondary party to the killing, it was sufficient that he realised the primary party might kill with intent to do so or intend to cause grievous bodily harm. It was unnecessary for the secondary party himself to have such an intention.

Peter Feinberg QC (Registrar of Criminal Appeals) for Powell; Michael Wolkind (Registrar of Criminal Appeals) for Daniel; Joanna Korner QC, William Boyce (CPS) for the Crown.

Practice

Agrafax Public Relations Ltd (t/a Abacus Communications) v United Scottish Society Inc; CA (Russell, Henry, Ward LJJ) 11 May 1995.

The requirement on a plaintiff, when seeking leave to serve proceedings out of the jurisdiction, to show a good arguable case did not require him to satisfy the judge that at the end of the day it was more probable than not that the plaintiff would win.

Graham Read (Gerrard Mitchell & Co, Shrewsbury) for the appellants; David Lock (Wace Morgan, Shrewsbury) for the respondents.

Joyce v Liverpool City Council; Wynne v Same; CA (Sir Thomas Bingham MR, Hirst, Aldous LJJ) 28 April 1995.

A district judge sitting as a small claims arbitrator under Ord 19 of the County Court Rules had power to grant relief by way of specific performance or injunction. He could, therefore, grant such relief in proceedings by a domestic tenant alleging a breach by his landlord of a repairing covenant.

Timothy King QC, David Bennett (Gregory Abrams, Liverpool) for Joyce; Timothy King QC, Grant Lazarus (Stephen Irving, Liverpool) for Wynne; Edward Bartley Jones, Tania Griffiths (Sharpe Pritchard, for Paul F. Taylor, Liverpool) for the council landlord.

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