CASE SUMMARIES v 3 March 1997

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

Animals

Davidson v Strong; QB Div Ct (Lord Bingham CJ, Moses J) 29 Jan 1997.

The offence under art 5 of the Welfare of Animals at Markets Order 1990 was one of strict liability. The prosecution must prove first that the animal was unfit and second that the defendant had knowingly allowed it to be exposed for sale. The defence of lawful authority or excuse was available if he could show that the animal was not unfit or that he had reasonable grounds for believing that it was fit.

David Cocks QC, Nicholas Elcombe (Thompson, Smith & Puxon, Colchester) for the appellant; Paul Sadarevian (Marshall, Sutton & Jones, Colchester) for the respondent.

Bugs

R v Choudhury; CA (Cr Div) (Stuart-Smith LJ, Forbes, Smedley JJ) 5 Feb 1997.

The general statement on the construction of s 9(1) of the Interception of Communications Act 1986 by the Court of Appeal in R v Effick (1992) 95 Cr App R 427, that it did not prevent the admission of the product of a telephone intercept to which the Act applied, was to be modified only to the extent that it related to a warranted intercept. Section 9(1)(a) was not sufficient in iteself to prevent admissibility of the substance of consensual interception. Since, on the question of admissibility, the fact that the evidence might have been obtained unlawfully was irrelevant, cross-examination to show that the intercept was not consensual could not be entertained, quite apart from s 9(1)(a).

John Spencer QC (Middleweeks, Manchester) for the appellant; Bernard Levell (CPS) for the Crown.

Tax

Sarsfield (HMIT) v Dixons Group plc; ChD (Lightman J) 3 Jan 1997.

A company which provided transport services for a retail chain of shops operated by another member of the same group of companies was entitled to capital allowances for industrial buildings or structures for costs incurred in providing warehouse accommodation. The buildings were industrial buildings within s 7(1) of the Capital Allowances Act 1968 and were not disqualified as being used for purposes "ancillary to any retail shop" within s 7(3). The transport company was carrying out a business separate from the retail shops.

Michael Furness (Inland Revenue); Rex Bretten QC, Stephen Brandon QC (Titmuss Sainer Dechert) for Dixons.

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