Case Summaries

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

Crime

Attorney-General's Reference (No 2 of 1992); CA (Crim Div) (Lord Taylor of Gosforth LCJ, Judge, Blofeld JJ); 27 May 1993.

The state of 'driving without awareness' which was described as driving in a trance-like state with reduced or imperfect awareness, but which did not involve the total destruction of voluntary control by the driver should not, as a matter of law, be capable of founding a defence of automatism.

R Alun-Jones QC and Graham Cliff (CPS) for the Attorney- General; Michael Pert QC and Amjad Malik (Greenwoods, Peterborough) for the respondent.

R v Joseph; CA (Cr Div) (Waite LJ, Waterhouse, Dyson JJ); 13 May 1993.

A trial judge erred in not exercising his discretion under s78 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 to exclude evidence of identification of the defendant during a confrontation with witnesses held shortly before the trial began. Although the confrontation took place at the defendant's insistence, in the erroneous belief that he had a statutory right to such a confrontation where it had not proved possible to test the witnesses' identification by other means, that fact was not decisive but was only one of many factors to be considered in deciding whether to admit the evidence.

Simon Tierney (Registrar of Criminal Appeals) for the appellant; Alexander Ryan (CPS) for the Crown.

Insurance

Society of Lloyd's v Morris and ors; CA (Sir Thomas Bingham MR, Steyn LJ, Sir Christopher Slade); 28 May 1993.

Recoveries made by Lloyd's names under their stop loss policies, which were taken out by them on a voluntary basis for their own protection, were not subject to the trusts created by the Lloyd's Premiums Trust Deed, cl2(a)(i) which provided that 'all premiums and other monies whatsover . . . now belonging or payable or hereafter at any time belonging or becoming payable to the name in connection with the underwriting', since the words 'in connection with the underwriting' imported the idea that the underwriting business must be the source of the funds and the underwriting business was not the source of the stop loss recoveries.

Elizabeth Gloster QC and Mark Havelock-Allan (Lloyd's solicitor) for the appellants; Thomas Seymour (Michael Freeman & Co) for the respondents.

Justices

R v Dunmow Justices, Ex p Nash; QBD (DC) (Watkins LJ, Tuckey J); 12 May 1993.

Justices, when considering the appropriate mode of trial for an offence triable either way, had no power under r4 of the Magistrates' Courts (Advance Information) Rules 1985 to order the prosecution to provide copies of allegedly obscene video tapes to the defence. However, they did have an extensive power to adjourn under s10 of the Magistrates' Courts Act 1980 and, having concluded that the discovery being offered by the prosecution was inadequate, could have adjourned the proceedings for the defendant to be provided with copies before deciding on mode of trial.

Bernard Richmond (Murdochs) for the applicant; Clare Montgomery (Customs & Excise Solicitor) for the prosecutor.

Practice

Practice Direction: Admiralty Court Practice; QBD (Adm Ct) (Clarke J); 10 May 1993.

In order to achieve as much harmonisation as possible between the practices of the Admiralty Court and of the Commerical Court, while ensuring the courts remained independent, changes in the practice of the Admiralty Court in the hearing of interlocutory applications and the listing of actions and the general harmonisation of the general practice of the two courts where appropriate will take effect from 8 June 1993.

Sentencing

R v James; CA (Cr Div) (Rose LJ, Turner J); 18 May 1993.

Where, as in the case of a defendant convicted of indecent assaults against under-age girl prostitutes, the sentencing process necessarily involved the element of deterrence, it was axiomatic that such a sentence could pay only slight attention to the personal circumstances of the defendant, as otherwise it would fail to achieve that which it set out to do.

Marian Lewis (Registrar of Criminal Appeals) for the appellant.

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