Regina v Belmarsh Magistrates’ Court ex parte Fiona Watts: Admn 8 Feb 1999

The defendant sought to have dismissed as an abuse of proces charges against her that as an officer of Customs and Excise prosecuting the now private prosecutor, she had committed various offences.
Held: The magistrate was vested with jurisdiction to consider whether summonses issued by a convicted defendant amounted to an abuse of process, and ‘We accordingly have no doubt that the summonses are an abuse of the criminal process. ‘

Buxton LJ, Collins J
[1999] EWHC Admin 112, [1999] 2 CAR 188, [1999] 2 Cr App Rep 188
England and Wales
CitedDirector of Public Prosecutions v Humphrys HL 1977
Humphrys was charged with driving while disqualified. The issue was the correctness of the identification by a police constable. In evidence, Humphrys denied that he was the driver, or indeed that he had driven any car during the year in question. . .
CitedMills v Cooper QBD 1967
Two sets of criminal proceedings were brought against the defendant for offences under section 127 of the Highways Act 1959 namely that of being a gypsy and, without lawful excuse, camping on a highway. The first proceedings were brought in respect . .
CitedImperial Tobacco Ltd v Attorney-General HL 1980
The applicant sought a declaration as to the lawfulness of a lottery scheme whilst criminal proceedings were pending against it for the same scheme.
Held: It was not necessary to decide whether a declaration as to the criminality or otherwise . .
CitedRegina v Horseferry Road Magistrates’ Court, ex Parte Bennett (No 1) HL 24-Jun-1993
The defendant had been brought to the UK in a manner which was in breach of extradition law. He had, in effect, been kidnapped by the authorities.
Held: The High Court may look at how an accused person was brought within the jurisdiction when . .
CitedHunter v Chief Constable of the West Midlands Police HL 19-Nov-1981
No collateral attack on Jury findigs.
An attempt was made to open up in a civil action, allegations of assaults by the police prior to the making of confessions which had been disposed of in a voir dire in the course of a criminal trial. The plaintiffs had imprisoned having spent many . .
CitedRegina v Horsham Justices, ex parte Reeves (Note) QBD 1980
The police had decided simply to re-lay charges which had already been dismissed after an extensive depositions hearing. The charges were simplified but essentially the same.
Held: This was an abuse of process. A court is possessed of a . .
CitedRegina v Oxford City Justices, ex parte Smith QBD 1982
The defendant had given a positive breath test. The laboratory test showed a urine/alcohol proportion above the prescribed limit. He was warned that proceedings were possible. The summons was issued within the six months’ period prescribed by the . .
CitedRegina v Croydon Justices Ex Parte Dean QBD 9-Mar-1993
The applicant a 17 year old assisted the police in a murder investigation on the understanding, induced by the police, that he would not himself be prosecuted. Some weeks later, at the instance of the CPS, the applicant was charged with a lesser . .
CitedRegina v Guildford Magistrates’ Court, ex parte Healy CACD 1983
Magistrates faced with a claim of abuse of process should recognise the wider responsibility for upholding the rule of law which must be that of the High Court. If a serious question arises as to the deliberate abuse of extradition procedures a . .
CitedRegina v Bros 1902
A magistrate should consider, before issuing a summons, whether it appears to be vexatious. . .
CitedRegina v West London Metropolitan Stipendiary Magistrate, ex parte Klahn QBD 1979
The issue of a summons by a magistrate is a judicial act: ‘The duty of a magistrate in considering an application for the issue of a summons is to exercise a judicial discretion in deciding whether or not to issue a summons. It would appear that he . .
CitedRegina v Barnet Justices ex parte R QBD 10-Nov-1994
The court accepted, on the basis of Bennett, that the magistrates did not have jurisdiction to consider allegations of abuse based on ‘bad faith’. . .
CitedRegina v Barnet Justices ex parte R QBD 10-Nov-1994
The court accepted, on the basis of Bennett, that the magistrates did not have jurisdiction to consider allegations of abuse based on ‘bad faith’. . .
CitedStevenson v Garnett 1898
AL Smith LJ: ‘The court ought to be slow to strike out a statement of claim or defence, and to dismiss an action as frivolous and vexatious yet it ought to do so when as here, it has been shown that the identical question sought to be raised has . .
CitedWalpole v Partridge and Wilson (A Firm) CA 8-Jul-1993
The plaintiff, who had been convicted before the magistrates, sued the solicitors who had acted for him in connection with a proposed appeal to the Crown Court for failure to lodge such an appeal. The solicitors applied to strike out the action, . .
CitedSmith v Linskills CA 1996
The claimant, a convicted burglar took proceedings against his former solicitors. He alleged that the negligence of the solicitor caused his wrongful conviction.
Held: The case was dismissed. The claimant was seeking to re-litigate issues . .

Cited by:
CitedLevey, Regina v CACD 27-Jul-2006
The defendant appealed against his conviction of manslaughter of his baby son. He said that a family court had previously investigated the same allegations and had explicitly found itself unable to say which of himself and the mother were . .
CitedPanday v Virgil PC 9-Apr-2008
(Trinidad and Tobago) The defendant’s appeal against conviction had succeeded on the basis of apparent bias in the tribunal. He now appealed the order remitting the case to be reheard, saying that a fair trial was no longer possible.
Held: The . .
CitedCraik, Chief Constable of Northumbria Police, Regina (on The Application of) v Newcastle Upon Tyne Magistrates’ Court Admn 30-Apr-2010
The claimant a retired Chief Constable sought judicial review of a decision to commit him for trial on a charge of unlawful imprisonment. The suspect and now prosecutor had been arrested and held in custody, but without the necessary timely review . .
CitedAbdul and Others v Director of Public Prosecutions Admn 16-Feb-2011
The defendants appealed against convictions for using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour or disorderly behaviour . . within the hearing or sight of a person likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress. He had attended a . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Criminal Practice, Magistrates

Leading Case

Updated: 10 November 2021; Ref: scu.139376