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Regina v Stacey; CA 1982

References: [1982] RTR 20
Coram: Woolf J
The defendant had been arrested for driving whilst unfit through drink. He was warned three hours later that he might be prosecuted for reckless driving. In fact he was not charged with any offence relating to drink. When tried for reckless driving he argued no case to answer because he had not been warned ‘at the time the offence was committed’ within the meaning of the section.
Held: The Court applied Bolkis. The decision was one for the judge. As he had arrived at the only appropriate answer on the facts the appeal was dismissed. Woolf J said that there was no authority on all fours but added: ‘. . . it does appear to this court that the question is one which is much more suited to a decision by the judge than by a jury. It would be very unsatisfactory if one were to get a situation where one jury would come to one conclusion and another jury would come to another conclusion when exactly the same direction in law was given to them. It is therefore some comfort to find that whereas this point has not been considered on S179(4) . . ..(it) was in Rex v Bolkis [1932] 24 Cr App R 19 . . . This court, in so far as the decision deals with the proper interpretation of S179(4) is bound by the decision in Rex v Bolkis. Quite clearly, if the court came to the conclusion that the word ‘court’ in subsection 4 referred to the judge, then that is a very real indication as to the proper interpretation of subsection (2).
The position is that in view of the decision in Rex v Bolkis . . . this court must take the view that the word ‘court’ in subsection (4) refers to the judge. Accordingly, when an issue under subsection (4) is raised before the court, the judge will be the person who determines the issue. It would lead to absurd results if a judge had to determine that issue but a jury had to determine an issue under subsection (2). Quite clearly, under subsection (4) the court is going to determine questions of fact as well as of law, and if the court, in the form of the judge has to determine the facts on subsection (4), it is only sensible and desirable that the judge should determine an issue under subsection (2).’
Statutes: Road Traffic Act 1972 179(2)(a)
This case cites:

  • Cited – Rex v Bolkis CCA ((1932) 24 Cr App R 19)
    The defendant complained that a jury had not been asked a question of fact, namely whether his name and address could not be discovered withut due diligence. The section had a proviso that failure to comply with the section was not a bar to . .

This case is cited by:

  • Cited – Currie, Regina -v- CACD (Bailii, [2007] EWCA Crim 926)
    The defendant appealed his conviction for dangerous driving. The failure of the police to serve him with a notice of intended prosecution invalidated the conviction. The police replied that there was no need for such a notice because there had been . .

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