Gibbs and others v Rea: PC 29 Jan 1998

(Cayman Islands) The respondent worked for a bank. He disclosed a business interest, but that interest grew in importance to the point where he resigned in circumstances amounting to constructive dismissal. His home and business officers were raided and searched by the police. Nothing incriminating was found. He claimed damages saying the search warrrant had been obtained maliciously.
Held: A new tort of the malicious procurement of search warrant was recognised. The tests were that the respondent had caused warrant to be issued; this had been without proper cause; he had acted with malice; and there had been damage resulting. The prosecutor had been silent when called on to justify the search, and it was proper to allow for that in drawing an inference of malice.


Lord Goff of Chieveley, Lord Steyn, Lord Hope of Craighead, Lord Hutton, Mr. Justice Gault


Times 04-Feb-1998, [1998] UKPC 3, [1998] AC 786






CitedCotton v James 30-Jun-1830
The burden of proof can shift during the course of a trial. Silence in circumstances in which a party would be expected to answer might convert evidence into proof. . .
CitedAttorney General v Danhai Williams and others PC 12-May-1997
(Jamaica) Customs investigating officers on attended the appellant’s premises in the course of an investigation of fraudulent importation. The officers were met by a hostile crowd, and the claimant did not attend for interview as invited. A search . .
CitedArbrath v North Eastern Railway Co 1886
The burden of proof of a matter can shift during the course of a trial. . .
CitedMaass v Gas Light and Coke Co CA 1911
Interrogatories to the defendant asking what grounds he had for prosecuting will, as a rule, be refused. . .
CitedRegina v Inland Revenue Commissioners ex parte Rossminster Ltd HL 13-Dec-1979
The House considered the power of an officer of the Board of Inland Revenue to seize and remove materials found on premises which a warrant obtained on application to the Common Serjeant authorised him to enter and search; but where the source of . .
CitedElsee v Smith 1822
The court considered a claim that a search warrant had been issued for malice. . .
CitedBrown v Hawkes CA 1891
The court considered the issue of malice as an element of malicious prosecution. It is a matter to be proved by the plaintiff or the case may be withdrawn, but in a proper case it may be inferred from want of reasonable and probable cause although . .
CitedGlinski v McIver HL 1962
The court considered the tort of malicious prosecution when committed by a police officer, saying ‘But these cases must be carefully watched so as to see that there really is some evidence from his conduct that he knew it was a groundless charge.’ . .
CitedRhesa Shipping Co SA v Edmonds (The Popi M) HL 16-May-1985
The Popi M sank in calm seas and fair weather as a result of a large and sudden entry of water into her engine room through her shell plating. The vessel’s owners claimed against her hull and machinery underwriters, contending that the loss was . .
CitedHope v Evered 1886
It is an actionable wrong to procure the issue of a search warrant without reasonable cause and with malice. . .
CitedHicks v Faulkner 1878
Before charging a prisoner, a police officer must have ‘an honest belief in the guilt of the accused based upon a full conviction, founded upon reasonable grounds, of the existence of a state of circumstances, which, assuming them to be true, would . .
CitedHerniman v Smith HL 1938
The court considered the tort of malicious prosecution.
Held: It is the duty of a prosecutor to find out not whether there is a possible defence, but whether there is a reasonable and probable cause for prosecution. The House approved the . .
CitedEverett v Ribbands 1952
The court considered the tort of the malicious obtaining of a search warrant. . .
CitedRoy v Prior HL 1970
The court considered an alleged tort of maliciously procuring an arrest. The plaintiff had been arrested under a bench warrant issued as a result of evidence given by the defendant. He sued the defendant for damages for malicious arrest.
Held: . .
CitedReynolds v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis 1985
A search warrant had been obtained under the 1913 Act. The court considered the existence of a tort of obtaining a search warrant maliciously.
Waller LJ discussed the problem facing police officers when a large volume of material were to be . .
CitedTan Soon Yin v Judge Cameron and Another PC 1992
The power at common law to impose a stay on a criminal matter is discretionary, and a stay ‘should only be employed in exceptional circumstances’.
The task for the courts is to decide: ‘whether, in all the circumstances, the situation created . .
CitedRegina v Inland Revenue Commissioners, Ex parte T C Coombs and Co CA 1989
Lord Tenterden CJ said: ‘It has been carried further in the argument to-day, for it has been urged that the non-appearance of the prosecutor does not necessarily induce the conclusion of a consciousness at that time, that when the prosecution was . .
CitedQuartz Hill Consolidated Gold Mining Co v Eyre CA 26-Jun-1883
The court considered whether an action lay without proof of special damage for maliciously presenting a winding up petition.
Held: There was. Though there was no general cause of action for maliciously bringing civil proceedings without . .
CitedMeering v Grahame-White Aviation Co Ltd CA 1919
An unconscious or drugged person may be detained. For the tort of false imprisonment there must be shown a complete restriction in fact on the plaintiff’s freedom to move: ‘any restraint within defined bounds which is a restraint in fact may be an . .

Cited by:

CitedKeegan and Others v Chief Constable of Merseyside CA 3-Jul-2003
The police had information suggesting (wrongly) that a fugitive resided at an address. An armed raid followed, and the claimant occupant sought damages.
Held: The tort of malicious procurement of a search warrant required it to be established . .
CitedRaja v Van Hoogstraten ChD 19-Dec-2005
Damages were claimed after claimant alleged involvement by the defendant in the murder of the deceased. The defendant had been tried and acquitted of murder and manslaughter, but the allegation was now pursued. The defendant had since failed to . .
CitedGregory v Portsmouth City Council HL 10-Feb-2000
Disciplinary proceedings had been taken by the local authority against Mr Gregory, a council member, after allegations had been made that he had failed to declare conflicts of interest, and that he had used confidential information to secure a . .
CitedFitzpatrick and Others v The Commissioner of Police of The Metropolis QBD 11-Jan-2012
The claimants, two solicitors and their employer firm sought damages alleging trespass and malicious procurement by police officers in obtaining and executing search warrants against the firm in 2007 when they were investigating suspected offences . .
CitedCrawford Adjusters and Others v Sagicor General Insurance (Cayman) Ltd and Another PC 13-Jun-2013
(Cayman Islands) A hurricane had damaged property insured by the respondent company. The company employed the appellant as loss adjustor, but came to suspect advance payments recommended by him, and eventually claimed damages for deceit and . .
CitedCrawford v Jenkins CA 24-Jul-2014
The parties had divorced but acrimony continued. H now complained of his arrests after allegations from his former wife that he had breached two orders. He had been released and no charges followed. The court had ruled that W’s complaints were . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Torts – Other, Commonwealth, Police

Updated: 01 June 2022; Ref: scu.159283