CASE SUMMARIES

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

Appeal

R v Morley; CA (Cr Div) (Stuart-Smith LJ, Forbes J); 20 January 1995.

Where an applicant was granted leave to appeal by a single judge, the Court of Appeal in refusing the application would never make a "loss of time order", under s20 of the Criminal Appeal Act 1968, that time spent in custody since the commencement of appeal proceedings should not count towards sentence.

Nor, save in very rare cases, would the court do so if counsel had advised the court that there were arguable grounds of appeal.

Alexander Dunn (Johnson Partnership, Nottingham) for the applicant.

Contempt

R v Bromwell; CA (Cr Div) (Hobouse LJ, Pill, Steel JJ); 10 January 1995.

When dealing with a contemnor accused of attempting to bribe a potential witness in a criminal trial, the judge, while rightly dealing with the matter as one of urgency having regard to its possible effect on the trial, should give the contemnor an opportunity to be represented by counsel before making a contempt order.

James Gibbs (Registrar of Criminal Appeals) for the appellant; Michael Burrows (CPS) for the Crown.

Crime

R v Thompson; CA (Cr Div) (Hobhouse LJ, Pill, Steel JJ); 19 January 1995.

Defence counsel in a criminal trial should not approach the judge for an indication of the sentence which might be passed should a defendant change his plea to guilty; nor should the judge give such an indication.

Samuel Stein (who did not appear below) (Registrar of Criminal Appeals) for the appellant.

Practice

Brinks Ltd & anr v Abu-Saleh & ors; ChD (Jacob J); 17 January 1995.

Delay in instituting proceedings for summary judgment under RSC Ord 14 was not, of itself, a relevant matter leading to refusal of the plaintiff's application.

A defendant could not show there was an issue that ought to be tried if he had already lost that issue in a criminal trial and was simply seeking its relitigation on essentially the same evidence.

Richard Spearman (Shaw & Croft) for the plaintiffs; David Beard (Janes) for the 32nd defendant; Anthony Jackson, solicitor (Jeffrey Gordon & Co) for the 37th defendant.

VAT

Bjellica (t/a Eddy's Domestic Appliances) v Customs & Excise Commrs; CA (Neill, Waite, Saville LJJ); 13 January 1995.

There was nothing in either the UK Value Added Tax legislation or European Community law to prevent the Customs & Excise Commissioners making a global assessment to VAT which included a period when the taxpayer should have been but was not registered for VAT.

Michael Sherry (Lindley Johnstone, Bristol) for the taxpayer; Michael Kent (Customs & Excise) for the Crown.

Customs & Excise Commrs v British Telecom plc; QBD (Dyson J); 19 January 1995.

VAT on overpayments made unintentionally by subscribers paying telephone bills was not to be accounted for to Customs & Excise when British Telecom received it.

The money was credited to the subscriber against future services and the VAT was to be accounted for when the invoice for subsequent services was issued.

Kenneth Parker QC (Customs & Excise) for the Crown; David Milne QC, Julie Anderson (Legal Department, British Telecom) for the taxpayer.

Customs & Excise Commrs v Next plc; same v Grattan plc; QBD (Judge J); 13 Jan 1995.

The operation of one of the special retail schemes pursuant to the VAT (Supplied by Retailers) Regulations 1972 (SI 1148) and set out in VAT Notice 727, did not alter the time of supply of goods sold on credit.

When the VAT rate was increased the lower old rate was applicable. The date goods were delivered to the customer was the time of supply, not the later date the supplier received payment.

Stephen Richards (Customs & Excise) for the Crown; David Milne QC, Andrew Hitchmouth (Legal Department, Next plc; KPMG Peat Marwick) for the taxpayers.

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