Fox v Chief Constable of Gwent: HL 1986

The driver left an accident. The police entered his home unlawfully, and on his refusal to supply a breath test, he was arrested and charged with faiing to supply.
Held: A lawful arrest is not an essential requirement before a breath test, and there was no general principle that there could be no conviction under section 6(1) if the evidence by which it was sought to prove the offence had been obtained unlawfully; On the true construction of section 10(2), the admissibility of a specimen of breath, blood or urine in proceedings for an offence under sections 5 or 6 depends on the procedure prescribed by the new section 8 for obtaining such a specimen having been correctly followed.
Lord Fraser of Tullybelton stated: ‘It is a well established rule of English law, which was recognised in Reg. v. Sang, that (apart from confessions as to which special considerations apply) any evidence which is relevant is admissible even if it has been obtained illegally.’


Lord Bridge, Lord Fraser of Tullybelton


[1986] 1 AC 281, [1985] 3 All ER 392, [1985] 1 WLR 1126, [1985] RTR 337, [1986] Crim LR 59, (1985) 82 Cr App R 105, (1985) 150 JP 97


Road Traffic Act 1972 8(6) 10(2)


England and Wales


ApprovedHoward v Hallett QBD 1984
The police adduced in evidence against the defendant the analysis of a specimen of breath which was not the specimen required under the Act.
Held: The evidence of the analysis of the specimen relied on by the police was inadmissible in . .
CitedRegina v Sang HL 25-Jul-1979
The defendant appealed against an unsuccessful application to exclude evidence where it was claimed there had been incitement by an agent provocateur.
Held: The appeal failed. There is no defence of entrapment in English law. All evidence . .

Cited by:

CitedRussell v Devine (On Appeal from the Court of Appeal Northern Ireland) HL 8-May-2003
The House was asked whether a specimen of blood required under the regulations, having been requested at a hospital or health centre had to be taken there.
Held: The health centre was not a hospital within the regulations. However the request . .
CitedWright v Director of Public Prosecutions Admn 25-May-2005
The defendant appealed his conviction for driving with excess alcohol. He complained that the device used to measure his breath at the police station, the EC/IR intoximeter, was not an approved device. The court had refused to accept evidence to . .
CitedRegina v Sargent HL 25-Oct-2001
When a telephone engineer used his position to make unauthorised telephone intercepts, and produced apparent evidence of criminal activity, he was, under the Act, a person engaged in providing a public communications system, and the recordings were . .
CitedSmith v Director of Public Prosecutions Admn 30-Jan-2007
The defendant appealed his conviction for driving with excess alcohol, arguing that the prosecution had failed to provide the roadside breath test figures.
Held: The appeal failed, and was indeed hopeless. Pill LJ said: ‘The specimens of . .
CitedAttorney General’s Reference No. 3 of 1999 HL 14-Dec-2000
An horrific rape had taken place. The defendant was arrested on a separate matter, tried and acquitted. He was tried under a false ID. His DNA sample should have been destroyed but wasn’t. Had his identity been known, his DNA could have been kept . .
CitedKohler v Director of Public Prosecutions Admn 9-Jul-2010
The driver appealed against her conviction for driving with excess alcohol. She said that she had not been given the protection provided under section 9 against being required to provide a specimen whilst under the care of a doctor at hospital.
CitedCrown Prosecution Service, Regina (on The Application of) v Wolverhampton Magistrates’ Court Admn 27-Nov-2009
The Service appealed by case stated against the dismissal of a charge of driving with excess alcohol. The arresting officer had not administered the roadside breath test not having one with him, and had not been trained to make the necessary . .
CitedPublic Prosecution Service v McKee SC 22-May-2013
Non-approval didn’t devalue fingerprints
The court was asked: ‘what are the statutory consequences if the fingerprints of a defendant have been taken in a police station in Northern Ireland by an electronic device for which the legislation required approval from the Secretary of State, . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Road Traffic, Criminal Evidence

Updated: 12 May 2022; Ref: scu.182097