Law Report: Case Summaries

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

Crime

R v Richardson; CA (Crim Div)(Lord Taylor of Gosforth LCJ; Owen, Blofeld JJ); 24 May 1993.

Witness statements which did not form part of the prosecution and which were served on the defence as unused material did not render the prosecution under a duty to call the makers as witnesses to give evidence at the defendant's trial. A judge who pressed the prosecution to call such witnesses would, in effect, require them to act as both prosecution and defence.

David Martin Sperry (Registrar of Criminal Appeals) for the appellant; Michael Gale QC, and Louis French (CPS) for the Crown.

Easement

William Sindall plc v Cambridgeshire CC; CA (Russell, Evans, Hoffmann LJJ); 21 May 1993.

A purchaser of land under the national conditions of sale takes the risk of easements and incumbrances, apart from those of which the vendor had knowledge or means of knowledge. In selling subject to condition 14, which was not an exclusion clause and did not have to satisfy a test of reasonableness, the council was not warranting that the land was fit for any particular purpose and having made reasonable investigations was not liable in misrepresentation for a subsequently discovered defect in title.

Terence Etherton QC, and Steven Kovats (Sharpe Pritchard) for the council; Jules Sher QC, and Reziya Harrison (Miller & Co, Cambridge) for the purchaser.

Housing

R v Wandsworth LBC, Ex p Oteng; CA (Lloyd, Butler-Sloss, Roch LJJ); 10 June 1993.

An applicant who, with her sisters, transferred their interests in the parental home to their mother a few months after they and the mother had exercised their statutory right to buy the house from the local authority, and who did not physically occupy the property as she had moved over two years previously, did not, by surrendering her interest in the property, become homeless intentionally within section 60 of the Housing Act 1985.

Mark Wonnacott (Mildred & Beaumont) for the applicant; Mary Cook (Borough Solicitor) for the council.

Land

Brackenbank Lodge Ltd v Peart; CA (Russell, Simon Brown LJJ, Sir Michael Fox); 27 May 1993.

A stint, called a cattlegate, could be either an incorporeal right of grazing or a right to graze on land held in common with other stintholders, and it was the latter which a private enclosure Act of 1799 had awarded to stintholders on Burnhope Moor, Durham. Their proprietary interest, which was entered in the ownership register of common land maintained by Durham council, defeated the respondent's claim to hold the moor in freehold.

Sheila Cameron QC, and John Fryer Spedding (Cartmell Shepherd, Penrith) for the stintholders; Peter B Keenan (Snowball Tucker & Bibby, Consett) for the respondent.

Revenue

British Railways Board v Franklin; CA (Sir Thomas Bingham MR, Nolan LJ, Sir Michael Fox); 27 May 1993.

Tax and national insurance contributions deducted by British Rail from sick pay paid to an employee, for which they accounted to the Inland Revenue and the Department of Social Security, were not reimbursable by the employee under his conditions of service, which provided that 'in respect of absence due to an accident or injury either on or off duty, sick pay . . . will be paid as a loan which will be repayable to British Rail in the event of the member of staff . . . recovering damages from a third party or British Rail . . .'. Although the employee had sustained an accident at work and been paid damages by British Rail, it was inappropriate to describe those sums as constituting in any sense of the word a 'loan' which was 'repayable' by the employee to British Rail. Alexander Hill-Smith (Russell Jones & Walker) for the employee; Gregory Treverton-Jones (British Railways Board Solicitor) for British Rail; William Charles (Inland Revenue Solicitor) for the Revenue.

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