Regina v Sargent: HL 25 Oct 2001

When a telephone engineer used his position to make unauthorised telephone intercepts, and produced apparent evidence of criminal activity, he was, under the Act, a person engaged in providing a public communications system, and the recordings were not admissible. The phrase ‘engaged in’ could refer either to his status, or that the act was part of the activities as an employee. The doubt which would be created by the second meaning suggested the first was appropriate. It was well accepted that the police can, at interview, put to the defendant, evidence which would not be admissible at trial. The use of that interview was then to be tested as to the effect on the fairness of the proceedings under section 78
Lord Nicholls of Birkenhead, Lord Steyn, Lord Hope of Craighead, Lord Hutton and Lord Hobhouse of Woodborough
Gazette 15-Nov-2001, [2001] UKHL 54, [2003] 1 AC 347, [2002] 1 All ER 161, [2002] 1 Cr App R 26, [2001] 3 WLR 992
House of Lords, Bailii
Interception of Communications Act 1985 1 9(2)(c), Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 78
England and Wales
CitedRegina v Effik; Same v Micthell CACD 23-Mar-1992
The police had unlawfully intercepted telephone calls made by the defendant.
Held: The evidence had been properly admitted notwithstanding its unlawful origins. . .
CitedRegina v Preston, Preston, Clarke Etc HL 5-Nov-1993
Telephone tapping evidence consisting of tapping records are to be destroyed after their use for the purpose obtained, but a prosecution was not within that purpose. The underlying purpose of the 1985 Act is to protect information as to the . .
CitedRegina v Sang HL 25-Jul-1979
The defendant appealed against an unsuccessful application to exclude evidence where it was claimed there had been incitement by an agent provocateur.
Held: The appeal failed. There is no defence of entrapment in English law. All evidence . .
CitedFox v Chief Constable of Gwent HL 1986
The driver left an accident. The police entered his home unlawfully, and on his refusal to supply a breath test, he was arrested and charged with faiing to supply.
Held: A lawful arrest is not an essential requirement before a breath test, and . .
CitedMorgans v Director of Public Prosecutions HL 18-Feb-2000
Without a warrant, the police had arranged for a call logger to retain details of the calls made, including the number called, time and duration. The dialing itself was a communication, which established a connection, through which further . .
CitedJasper v The United Kingdom ECHR 16-Feb-2000
Grand Chamber – The defendants had been convicted after the prosecution had withheld evidence from them and from the judge under public interest immunity certificates. They complained that they had not had fair trials.
Held: The right was . .
CitedAttorney General’s Reference (No 3 of 1999) (Lynn) HL 15-Dec-2000
A DNA sample had been wrongfully retained after the suspect had been acquitted, and the sample had been used in a later investigation to identify him. A subsequent sample had been taken, and the result of that second test had been used as evidence . .

Cited by:
CitedW, Regina v (Attorney General’s reference no 5 of 2002) CACD 12-Jun-2003
Three serving police officers provided confidential information to a known criminal. The Chief Constable authorised interception of telephones at a police station, a private network. The court accepted that section 17 prevented the defence asserting . .
CitedAttorney General’s Reference (No 5 of 2002) HL 14-Oct-2004
The Attorney General sought the correct interpretation of section 17 where a court was asked as to whether evidence obtained from a telephone tapping had been taken from a public or private network. A chief constable suspected that the defendants, . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 07 January 2021; Ref: scu.166703