Law Report: Case Summaries

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

Crime

R v Green; CA (Crim Div) (Stuart- Smith LJ, Leonard, Wright JJ); 30 June 1992.

Where on appeal a defendant submitted that he could not be tried in a Crown Court, having tendered a plea of autrefois convict, on a charge based on the same facts as those for which he had been found in breach of a non-molestation order and committed by a county court, the court held a plea of autrefois convict could not jump the boundary between civil and criminal proceedings.

Edmund Romilly (Registrar of Criminal Appeals) for the appellant; Robert Whittaker (CPS) for the Crown.

R v McTeague; CA (Crim Div) (Stuart-Smith LJ, Leonard, Wright JJ); 26 June 1992.

While it was not necessary in every case for a judge to follow the common practice of telling the jury to ignore any comments he might make, if the judge then went on to make comments unfavourable to the defendant and which might be unjustified in a case where the matters were very finely balanced, it was preferable that the conventional declaration should be given.

Simon Earlam (Registrar of Criminal Appeals) for the appellant; Christopher Cornwall (CPS) for the Crown.

Dogs

R v Walton Street Justices, Ex p Crothers; QBD (DC) (Mann LJ, French J); 17 June 1992.

Since the jurisdiction under s 5(4) of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 to order the destruction of a dog only arose if no person had been prosecuted under the Act, justices could not make a destruction order against a person who had been summonsed but against whom proceedings had been discontinued as such a person had been prosecuted for the purposes of s 5(4).

John Lyons (Alexander & Partners) for the applicant; Jeremy Carter-Manning (Metropolitan Police Solicitor) for the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police.

Employment

Knowles v Liverpool City Council; CA (Purchas LJ, Booth J); 29 June 1992.

'Equipment' in the phrase 'equipment provided by his employer for the purposes of the employer's business in s 1(1)(a) of the Employer's Liability (Defective Equipment) Act 1969 should be construed broadly and include everything that an employee is given by the employer to use to do his job, including a flagstone which broke and injured the plaintiff while he was carrying out his job of maintaining the highway.

William Braithwaite (WI Murray, Liverpool) for the council; John Benson (Brian Thompson & Partners, Liverpool) for the plaintiff.

Libel

Rechem International Ltd v Express Newspapers plc; CA (Neill, Scott, Steyn LJJ); 12 June 1992.

Where there was an application to strike out pleadings in defamation proceedings, attention should be paid to the principle that the trial of the action should concern itself with the essential issues and the evidence relevant thereto, thus reducing the length of the trial and its expense and complexity. On the other hand, nothing should be done to impede or restrict the rights of the Press and the public to report and to comment about matters of public interest and concern. A balance had to be struck between the legitimate defence of free speech and free comment on the one hand and on the other hand the costs which might be involved if every peripheral issue was examined and debated at trial.

David Eady QC and Stephen Suttle (Allen & Overy) for the appellant, Express Newspapers; Desmond Browne QC and Andrew Monson (Nabarro Nathanson) for Rechem.

Practice

Lawrence v European Credit Co Ltd; CA (Sir Donald Nicholls V-C, Sir Michael Kerr); 22 June 1992.

The jurisdiction of the Court of Appeal to hear and determine appeals from any judgment or order of the high court conferred by s 16 of the Supreme Court Act 1981 is not impliedly excluded by s 375(2) of the Insolvency Act 1986. Accordingly the Court of Appeal has jurisdiction to entertain an appeal from a judge's refusal to extend the time for appealing against a bankruptcy order made by a bankruptcy registrar.

Peter Jennings (Desmond Pye) for the appellant; Mark Cannon (Alsop Wilkinson) for the respondent.

Revenue

Hunt (Inspector of Taxes) v Henry Quick Ltd; King (Inspector of Taxes) v Bridisco Ltd; ChD (Vinelott J); 22 June 1992.

Platforms installed in single- storey warehouse to increase capacity and facilitate handling of goods were 'plant' in respect of which writing-down allowances could be claimed under the Finance Act 1971, s 44(1) (now Capital Allowances Act 1990, s 24(1)). However, additional lighting required to provide a normal level of light beneath the platforms were not 'plant'.

Launcelot Henderson (Inland Revenue Solicitor) for the Crown; Giles Goodfellow (Speechly Bircham for Whitemans, Gloucester and Gordon Ross, Bridisco Ltd) for the taxpayers.

Road traffic

DPP v Corcoran; QBD (DC) (McCowan LJ, Pill J); 23 June 1992.

An information laid under s 7(6) of the Road Traffic Act 1988 which alleged that the defendant, in the course of an investigation as to whether he had committed an offence under s 4 or s 5, had failed to provide a specimen of breath for analysis was bad for duplicity. The charge should specify whether the defendant was suspected of driving or of being in charge of a motor vehicle. It was not sufficient for the prosecution to give notice to the defendant as to the basis on which it was proceeding.

Stuart Baker (CPS) for the DPP; Alison Hewitt (Moore Sexton Bibby, Liverpool) for the defendant.

Shipping

Den Norske Bank A/S (formerly Bergen Bank A/S) v Owners of the ship Cerro Colorado; QBD (Adm Ct) (Sheen J); 29 June 1992.

When a ship arrested in an action in rem is sold by the Admiralty Marshal by order of the Admiralty Court, the purchaser of such a ship receives a title free of all liens and encumbrances. When on the arrest of a ship, an advertisement appears in Lloyd's List newspaper and on the following day a front-page article in the newspaper by its industrial correspondent, the object of both being to deter would-be purchasers and reduce the price of the ship, the advertisement and article may be treated as a contempt of court, as tending to interfere with the administration of justice. It was in the interest of all parties that the sale of the ship by the Admiralty Marshall should achieve the full market price.

Nigel Teare QC (Treasury Solicitor) for the Admiralty Marshal; Angus Glennie QC (Watson Farley & Williams) for the bank.

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