Regina v Inland Revenue Commissioners, Ex parte T C Coombs and Co: CA 1989

Lord Tenterden CJ said: ‘It has been carried further in the argument to-day, for it has been urged that the non-appearance of the prosecutor does not necessarily induce the conclusion of a consciousness at that time, that when the prosecution was originally instituted, he could have given no evidence to support it. That may be so. But the conduct of a party in a late period of a cause is a material circumstance, from which his motives at an earlier period may be inferred. Why might not the forbearance of Taylor to appear to give evidence at the trial, under the very peculiar circumstances of this case, raise an inference that his motive was a consciousness, that he had no probable cause for instituting the prosecution? The motives of parties can only be ascertained by inference drawn from facts. The want of probable cause is, in some degree, a negative, and the plaintiff can only be called upon to give some, as Mr. J. le Blanc, a most accurate Judge, says, slight evidence of such want. As then, slight evidence will do, why might not the circumstances of this case be left to the jury as grounds for a conclusion of fact?’


Lord Tenterden CJ


[1989] STC 520


England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedGibbs and others v Rea PC 29-Jan-1998
(Cayman Islands) The respondent worked for a bank. He disclosed a business interest, but that interest grew in importance to the point where he resigned in circumstances amounting to constructive dismissal. His home and business officers were raided . .
Appeal fromRegina v Inland Revenue Commissioners, Ex parte T C Coombs and Co HL 1991
The House heard an application judicially to review a notice served by an inspector of taxes under section 20 of the 1970 Act, requiring T C Coombs and Co to deliver or make available for inspection documents in their possession relevant to the tax . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 16 May 2022; Ref: scu.184707