Law Report: Case Summaries

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

Offensive Weapons

DPP v Gregson - QBD (Div Ct) (McCowan LJ, Popplewell J), 21 July 1992.

A defendant who had forgotten that he had in a public place an article (a knife with a fixed four-inch blade) to which s 139 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 applied, could not rely on forgetfulness as constituting the defence under s 139(4) that 'he had good reason. . .for having the article with him.'

John McGuinness (CPS, Inner London) for the prosecution; the defendant did not appear and was not represented.

Harris v DPP; Fehmi v DPP - QBD (Div Ct) (McCowan LJ, Popplewell J), 21 July 1992.

A folding knife having a pointed blade of less than three inches and capable of being secured in an open position by a locking device was not a 'folding pocketknife' within the meaning of s 139(2) of the Criminal Justice Act 1988, and carrying it in a public place was therefore an offence. To be a folding pocketknife, the blade must be readily foldable simply by the folding process. The knife was not in that category because it required the pressing of a button.

Bryan McGuire (Rance & Co) for Harris; Laurence Giovene (R Voss & Son) for Fehmi; John McGuinness (CPS, Inner London) for the prosecution.


British Waterways Board v National Rivers Authority (formerly Anglian Water Authority) & anr - CA (Lloyd, Stuart-Smith, Scott LJJ), 16 July 1992.

The pumping of water from an outfall channel, connected to but not forming part of a canal, which caused water to flow from the canal into the channel, did not amount to abstraction within the meaning of s 135(1) of the Water Resources Act 1963.

Gareth Williams QC and Anthony Sys Llewellyn (R J Duffy, Watford) for the plaintiff; Gerard Ryan QC and Philip Petchey (Della Shone, Peterborough, and Epton & Co, Lincoln) for the defendants.


R v Bigley & anr - CA (Crim Div) (Lloyd LJ, Tudor Evans, Latham JJ), 3 July 1992.

Where a defendant successfully appealed against his sentence because of the element of entrapment involved in the offence of which he had been convicted, a second defendant, whom he had recruited, was entitled to similar reduction in sentence.

David Kerr and Ian Harris (both assigned by the Registrar of Criminal Appeals) for the appellants.

Motor Insurance

Stinton v Stinton & anr - QBD (Simon Brown J), 17 July 1992.

A man who went as a passenger in a car with his brother, knowing him to be uninsured, and embarked on a night's drinking with him, after which they crashed was exercising a sufficient degree of control or management over the car to be regarded as being engaged on a joint enterprise and was thus 'a person using the vehicle' for the purpose of cl 6(1)(c) of the Motor Insurers Bureau Agreement 1972, so as to disentitle him from claiming compensation from the MIB in respect of his injuries.

Peter Arnold (Rosenberg & Co, Birmingham) for the passenger; Piers Ashworth QC and Lance Ashworth (Buller Jeffries, Birmingham) for the driver and MIB.


F v Kent County Council & ors - FD (Sir Stephen Brown, P), 21 July 1992.

In proceedings under the Children Act 1989, the power given to the court by s 91(14) to order that no application for an order under the Act of any specified kind might be made with respect to the child concerned by any person named in the order without leave of the court, should be used sparingly and only after hearing representation. On a father's application to vary a care order seeking contact with his children, where the justices made a consent order granting limited contact to him and acknowledged that he had not been vexatious, frivolous or unreasonable in making his application, their decision to add the restrictive order against him was an improper exercise of discretion.

Caroline Willbourne (Gardner & Croft, Canterbury) for the father; Judith Rowe (D Clephan, Legal Services Director) for Kent; Vera Mayer (Wilford McBain) for the guardian ad litem.

Road Traffic

DPP v Shaw - QBD (Div Ct) (McCowan LJ, Popplewell J), 20 July 1992.

A seat belt having a special clip which allowed it to hang loosely to the waist before crossing to a fixing point between the front seats instead of being worn across the chest, was a seat belt within reg 47 of the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986, and was worn as required by reg 4 of the Motor Vehicles (Wearing of Seat Belt) Regulations 1982, made under s 14 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 and the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988.

Stephen Parish (CPS) for the DPP.

Bills of Exchange

Clifford Chance v Silver - CA (Neill LJ, Sir Christopher Slade), 22 July 1992.

The holder of a bill of exchange without notice of any defect in the title of the person who negotiated the bill to him could take advantage of s 27(2) of the Bills of Exchange Act 1882 to show that he was a holder for value and therefore a holder in due course within s 29(1) of the Act.

Simon Goldblatt QC and Robert Jay (G O Silver & Co) for the appellant; John McGhee (Clifford Chance) for the respondent.