Regina v Hendon Justices ex parte Director of Public Prosecutions: QBD 1993

The court considered an application for judicial review by the DPP of a decision to acquit the defendant because the prosecutor had failed to appear for trial.
Held: Dismissing the information, and acquitting the accused had been an unreasonable decision which no reasonable bench could have come to. The acquittal was a nullity and mandamus would issue requiring the justices to hear the informations according to law.
Mann LJ said: ‘However, the duty of the court is to hear informations which are properly before it. The prosecution has a right to be heard and there is a public interest that, save in exceptional circumstances, it should be heard’ and ‘We have already stated that in our judgment the respondent justices’ decision to dismiss the information was outwith their statutory power. It was thus a nullity and could not have sustained a plea of autrefois because there had not been a lawful acquittal.’


Mann LJ


[1993] 1 All ER 411

Cited by:

CitedCrown Prosecution Service, Regina (on the Application of) v Portsmouth Crown Court Admn 1-May-2003
The CPS appealed against dismissal of their case by the Crown Court after no representative had appeared at court to present the case. Counsel had two cases, and had asked this to be held pending completion of the other which then overran. Counsel . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Criminal Practice, Magistrates

Updated: 18 May 2022; Ref: scu.470924