Brett v Director of Public Prosecutions: Admn 16 Mar 2009

The defendant faced trial for driving whilst over the prescribed alcohol limit. On a pre-trial review, the prosecution had applied for the evidence of the analyst to be given under the hearsay provisions, on the basis that she was living abroad. She had not been warned and it was not reasonably practicable to secure her attendance. At trial, the deputy district judge considered that he was bound by that ruling and refused to hear further argument on the issue of admissibility. One aspect of the case stated was whether the district judge was correct.
Held: The court allowed the appeal, applying sections 8A and 8B of the 1980 Act. There was no question of the pre-trial ruling binding the deputy judge in relation to the trial. At the trial very different considerations obtained compared with the pre-trial hearing, in particular relating to the attendance by the analyst and securing her evidence since – by then – the prosecution could well have obtained her attendance.


Leveson LJ, Sweeney J


[2009] EWHC 440 (Admin), [2009] 1 WLR 2530, (2009) 173 JP 274




Road Traffic Act 2006 5(2)(a), Magistrates’ Court Act 1980 8A 8B


England and Wales


CitedDirector of Public Prosecutions, Regina (on the Application of) v Chorley Justices and Forrest Admn 8-Jun-2006
The prosecutor applied for an order to require the magistrates to state a case. He faced a charge of driving with excess alcohol. He pleaded not guilty. There were several adjournments, and a considerable delay. At the trial, and with no . .

Cited by:

CitedJones v South East Surrey Local Justice Area Admn 12-Mar-2010
The defendant sought judicial review of a decision of the magistrates to adjourn a case where, on the day before, a differently constitued bench had refused an adjournment requested by the prosecution. On the first occasion the prosecutor had not . .
CitedBielecki v The Director of Public Prosecutions Admn 23-Aug-2011
The court had delivered a draft judgment which counsel said was based upon a fundamental misunderstanding of the case she had presented. Counsel now suggested that the matter should be referred to a two judge divisional court. That was refused. The . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Road Traffic, Magistrates

Updated: 23 July 2022; Ref: scu.323733