Remet Co Ltd v Newham London Borough Council: QBD 1981

The defendants, when loading non-ferrous metal swarf on to lorries standing on the highway, from time to time miscalculated the available space in a lorry being loaded, and some of the swarf accidentally fell on to the road. In respect of three such occasions the defendants were charged with depositing pieces of scrap metal on the highway without lawful authority or excuse, contrary to s.127 of the 1959 Act, providing: ‘If, without lawful authority or excuse . . (b) a person deposits any thing whatsoever on a highway . . he shall be guilty of an offence . . ‘ The defendants appealed against conviction.
Held: The appeal succeeded.
Donaldson LJ said: ‘I think that the deposit of materials in this context almost certainly does mean ‘consciously and deliberately depositing them’ and, if there is any doubt about it, it must be resolved in favour of a narrower construction, this being a section which creates an offence.’


Donaldson LJ and Bingham J


[1981] RTR 502


Highways Act 1959


England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedThames Water Utilities Ltd v Bromley Magistrates’ Court Admn 20-Mar-2013
Sewage had escaped from the company’s facilities. They now sought judicial review of their conviction under the 1990 Act, saying there had been no ‘deposit’ of sewage.
Held: The request for review failed: ‘the answer to the question whether . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Road Traffic

Updated: 04 May 2022; Ref: scu.471927