James v Tower Bridge Magistrates’ Court: Admn 9 Jun 2009

The claimant challenged the decisions of the magistrates first to convict him under the 1992 Act in his absence, and then to refuse to re-open the case. He had attended late on the trial date, after attending hospital overnight with his young daughter, and his solicitors had only received confirmation of the representation order one or two days before the hearing and could not represent him.
Held: The appeal succeeded and the convictions quashed. The court had misgivings about the accounts given, but the court had failed to enquire as to the reasons for the defence failures: ‘applying the principles stated in Jones and other cases, in my judgment there has been no fair trial, and the circumstances were such that an adjournment should have been granted.’
Pill LJ, Cranston J
[2009] EWHC 1500 (Admin)
Social Security Administration Act 1992
England and Wales
CitedRegina v Camberwell Green Magistrates’ Court ex parte Ibrahim 1984
Taylor J said: ‘In my judgment, it is unfair and contrary to the interests of justice that simply because the applicant arrived half an hour late, she should be barred for ever from raising such defence as she wishes to what could be regarded as a . .
CitedRegina v Jones (Anthony William) HL 20-Feb-2002
The defendant absconded, and did not appear for his trial despite several listings. The trial proceeded in his absence entirely. After arrest, he appealed, saying that he had not had a fair trial.
Held: It was not suggested that he did not . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 17 February 2021; Ref: scu.347474