Hargreaves v Bretherton: 1959

The Plaintiff pleaded that the First Defendant police officer had falsely and maliciously and without justification or excuse committed perjury at the Plaintiff’s trial on charges of criminal offences and that as a result the Plaintiff had been convicted and sentenced to eight years preventive detention.
Held: The claim was struck out as disclosing no cause of action. Telling lies about a defendant is not by itself tortious. Even if there was provable perjury in the proceedings, no second cause of action arises in civil proceedings from that. Lord Goddard CJ said: ‘The simple point that I have to decide is whether or not an action lies at the suit of the person who says that he has been demnified by false evidence given against him. In my opinion it is perfectly clear and beyond peradventure nowadays that such an action will not lie’.
Lord Goddard CJ
[1959] 1 QB 45
England and Wales
CitedRex v Skinner 1772
Lord Mansfield said: ‘Neither party, witness, counsel jury or judge can be put to answer, orally or criminally, for words spoken in office.’ Where words are spoken which are opprobrious or irrelevant to the case, the court will take notice of them . .

Cited by:
CitedTotal Network Sl v Customs and Excise Commissioners CA 31-Jan-2007
The defendants suspected a carousel VAT fraud. The defendants appealed a finding that there was a viable cause of action alleging a ‘conspiracy where the unlawful means alleged is a common law offence of cheating the public revenue’. The defendants . .
CitedPowell and Another v Boldaz and others CA 1-Jul-1997
The plaintiff’s son aged 10 died of Addison’s Disease which had not been diagnosed. An action against the Health Authority was settled. The parents then brought an action against 5 doctors in their local GP Practice in relation to matters that had . .
CitedTotal Network Sl v Revenue and Customs HL 12-Mar-2008
The House was asked whether an action for unlawful means conspiracy was available against a participant in a missing trader intra-community, or carousel, fraud. The company appealed a finding of liability saying that the VAT Act and Regulations . .
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 . .
CitedJones v Kaney SC 30-Mar-2011
An expert witness admitted signing a joint report but without agreeing to it. The claimant who had lost his case now pursued her in negligence. The claimant appealed against a finding that the expert witness was immune from action.
Held: The . .
CitedMarrinan v Vibert QBD 1963
The plaintiff brought an action claiming damages for conspiracy against two police officers alleging they had conspired together to make false statements defamatory of him as a barrister.
Held: The claim was struck out. Even a conspiracy to . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 16 July 2021; Ref: scu.248357