Lee and Others v Solihull Magistrates Court and Another: Admn 5 Dec 2013

The claimant challenged search warrants issued by the respondents, on the grounds first that the warrants were too wide in the description of the property which might be seized, that the description of property sought in the warrant was so wide that the Magistrates could not have been satisfied that there were reasonable grounds for believing that such material was likely to be relevant evidence, and that the applicants for the warrant, Customs and Excise officers were seriously at fault in the failure to disclose relative materials to the request for the warrant.
Held: ‘the entry, search and seizure at both sets of premises was unlawful. The purpose of the mandatory requirement imposed by Section 15(6)(b) is to enable anyone interested in the execution of a warrant to know what are the limits of the power of search or seizure which is being granted. This is necessary so that such a person can be put in a position to enable him or her to challenge the lawfulness of the seizure of any particular item. Accordingly, it is now well established that the terms of the warrant must be precise and intelligible by reference exclusively to its own terms and not by reference to any other material.’
and ‘The execution of a search warrant at private or business premises is a significant invasion upon individual liberty. Parliament has rightly required that certain safeguards be put in place. Those safeguards are contained in Sections 15 and 16 of PACE 1984, and Section 15(1) specifically provides that a failure to observe the requirements of those sections will render the entry and search unlawful. I have no doubt that that is the case here.
It is to be observed that a failure or failures of compliance with the provisions of Section 15 or Section 16 do not render the warrant itself unlawful, but rather the entry on or search of premises.’
Grond 2 was not made out and ground 3 not purused.

Treacy LJ, King J
[2013] EWHC 3779 (Admin)
Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 8(1)(c) 15
CitedGlenn and Co (Essex) Ltd), Regina (on The Application of) v HM Revenue and Customs Admn 18-Jun-2010
The company objected to the search of its offices and removal by the defendant of its computers, the officers having entered without any warrant purporting to use powers under the 1989 Act.
Held: The request for judicial review failed. The . .
CitedBurgin and Purcell v Commission of Police for The Metropolis and Others Admn 13-Jul-2011
The applicants renewed the applications for leave to bring judicial review of decisions to seek and to issue search warrants, and later decisions to arrest them.
Held: When considering the validity of a search warrant the warrant as a whole . .
CitedAnand, Regina (on The Application of) v Revenue and Customs Admn 9-Oct-2012
The claimant challenged the lawfulness of a search warrant issued for the respondent. The company had claimed Film Tax Relief, but the revenue had been unable to trace a supplier, and believed the invoice to be bogus.
Held: The warrants wer . .
CitedHoque and Another, Regina (on The Application of) v HM Revenue and Customs Admn 13-Mar-2013
The claimant sought judicial review of warrants issued at the request of the respondent, saying that they failed to comply with the requirements of section 15, and that no magistrate could reasonably have been satisfied that section 8 had been . .
CitedVan Der Pijl and Another v The Crown Court At Kingston Admn 21-Dec-2012
The claimants challenged search warrants and the seizure of materials under the warrants.
Held: The Court emphasised the need for precision within the warrant itself. . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Magistrates, Taxes Management

Updated: 26 November 2021; Ref: scu.518792