Naish v Gore: QBD 1971

The justices had come to the conclusion that reasonable precautions had been taken by the shopkeeper, and therefore that the defence in section 24 was made out.
Held: Lord Widgery CJ said: ‘Accordingly, it seems to me that the proper disposal of this case is to observe that the justices with some evidence of reasonable precautions and due diligence before them were satisfied that that was sufficient to satisfy the terms of sec. 24. In the end, if the justices properly directed themselves as to the law and appreciated the onus that rests on the respondent, the question of whether the precautions taken were all reasonable precautions is a matter for them and, on the facts of this case, I am not disposed to say that they reached other than the conclusion which was open to them.’
Lord Widgery contrasted the case before him with cases where no precautions had been taken, for example to test whether a watch said to be waterproof was in fact water resistant or whether the odometer had been altered in a case where there was no examination of the motorcar whatever. He observed that the trader had taken a certain amount of trouble to satisfy himself and said: ‘I for my part find it quite impossible to lay down as any general proposition in these cases that a motor dealer selling a secondhand car must wait for the log book and must check with the previous owner. To do so may be a very wise and proper precaution in appropriate cases, but I am not disposed to rule as a general principle that that must be so.’


Lord Widgery CJ


[1971] 3 All ER 737


Trade Descriptions Act 1968 1(1)(b) 824

Cited by:

CitedEnfield London Borough Council v Argos Ltd Admn 24-Jun-2008
The defendant company had been accused of selling a bladed article to a youth making a test purchase. The prosecutor now appealed by way of case stated raising the question as to whether a reasonable precaution taken after a test case conducted by . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Crime, Consumer

Updated: 04 May 2022; Ref: scu.526097