Warrant seizure appeal dismissed

News

08/10/2017

On the 19th June 2008, police executed a search warrant as part of “Operation Swale” at premises belonging to the Westminster College of Computing Limited and another.

They seized material which needed a small lorry to take away. After about 1½ years, a decision was made not to prosecute them and the property seized was returned, on separate occasions, over the following 2 years.

The Claimants brought High Court proceedings claiming damages in excess of £3m, maintaining that the police had unlawfully retained (or destroyed) their property or wrongfully restored it to others who had also been investigated.

After a 3 day trial before Master McCloud, the Master in a 15 page judgment, found that whilst the police records indicated a degree of human error, that not all of the goods had been signed for when returned and that some items were not properly recorded, nonetheless, the Claimants failed to establish that the police did not return everything as they had operated a fairly robust system.

The Claimants appealed to the High Court Judge on the basis that the Master failed to deal with all the items alleged to have not been returned, which were listed in Scott Schedules and had adopted a broad brush approach.

On 4th October 2017, Laing J. rejected the Claimants appeal, applying the principles in English-v-Emery Reimbold & Strick Limited [2002] 1 WLR 2409 and concluded that the Master was not obliged to deal with each and every item alleged to have been taken. There was no doubt how the Master resolved the issues and why the Claimants claim had failed.

Edwin Buckett represented the Metropolitan Police who were the Respondents to the appeal, instructed by Matt Smith of Plexus Law.

Featured Counsel

Edwin Buckett

Call 1988

Latest News & Events

The Dekagram: 20th May 2024

We trust that our readers have been enjoying the Spring sunshine; the team have spent their time in the sun wisely, reading cases so you don’t have to. First we noted a decision which considers the interplay between English and Scottish guardianship; secondly we read…

The Dekagram: 13th May 2024

Last week brought the news that the Australian airline Qantas and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission have agreed to resolve their dispute over cancelled flights by asking the court to impose a $100 million fine, together with an undertaking by the airline to pay…

Max Melsa appears in Court of Appeal in Re D (Children: Interim Care Order: Hair Strand Testing) [2024] EWCA Civ 498

Max Melsa represented the children, through their Children’s Guardian, in the first case to reach the Court of Appeal specifically dealing with the interpretation of Hair-Strand Tests in care proceedings. The appeal was made by the mother against the interim separation of three children from…

Subscribe to our mailing list

Deka Chambers: 5 Norwich Street, London EC4A 1DR

© Deka Chambers 2024

Search

Portfolio Builder

Select the expertise that you would like to download or add to the portfolio

Download    Add to portfolio   
Portfolio
Title Type CV Email

Remove All

Download


Click here to share this shortlist.
(It will expire after 30 days.)