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The Weekly Law Reports

[1954] 1 WLR 485

[QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION.]

REGINA v. HIGHGATE
JUSTICES. Ex parte PETROU.
1954 Jan. 27.
Lord Goddard C.J., Byrne and Parker JJ.

Justices — Costs — Penalty in guise of costs — Order for costs exceeding costs of
prosecution.

The manager of a club was summoned before justices under the Licensing
(Consolidation) Act, 1910, on charges relating to the sale and supply of liquor at the
club. The secretary was also summoned to show cause why the club should not be
struck off the register. At the conclusion of the hearing the justices were informed
that the costs of the prosecution amounted to 21 guineas. They convicted the
manager, fined him £10 and ordered him to pay 20 guineas costs. They further
ordered the secretary to pay £100 costs and they ordered the club to be struck off the
register. On an application by the secretary for an order of certiorari:—

Held, that the order against the secretary was a penalty under the guise of an
order for costs and one which the justices had no power to make.

APPLICATION for an order of certiorari.

The applicant, Helen Costas Petrou, was the owner of premises which she let to one
Reeves for use as a club of which she acted as secretary.

Ten summonses were issued against Reeves charging him, as manager of the club,
with offences relating to the sale of liquor without a justices' licence, contrary to
section 65 (1) of the Licensing (Consolidation) Act, 1910, and the supply of liquor
other than during permitted hours, contrary to section 4 of the Licensing Act, 1921 ,
and calling on him to show cause why the club should not be struck off the register
under section 95 (1) of the Act of 1910. A summons was also issued against the
applicant as secretary to show cause why the club should not be struck off. At the
conclusion of the hearing the justices were informed that the costs of the prosecution
amounted to 21 guineas. The justices then convicted Reeves, fined him £10, and
ordered him to pay two guineas costs on each of the 10 summonses. They also
ordered the applicant to pay £100 costs and the club to be struck off the register.

The grounds of the present application were (a) that the justices had no power to
inflict a fine or penalty on the applicant under section 95 (1) of the Act of 1910; (b)
that, in the circumstances, by ordering the applicant to pay £100 costs the justices
were in substance imposing a fine on the applicant and (c) that they had exceeded
their jurisdiction and acted improperly.

Norman King for the applicant.


S. A. Morton for the justices.

LORD GODDARD C.J. stated the facts and continued: I regret that any bench of
justices could have acted as these justices did. They were not imposing costs on the
applicant; they were imposing a penalty on her when she had not been convicted of
any offence, but had only come before the court to show cause why the premises
should not be struck off the register. Under the guise of making an order for costs, the
justices inflicted a penalty of £100, which could only have been intended as a penalty.
Since, by their order against Reeves, they had satisfied the costs of the prosecution
apart from one guinea certiorari will go and I shall direct that the papers be sent to
the Lord Chancellor.

BYRNE, J. I agree.

PARKER J. I agree.

Application granted with costs.

Solicitors: A. L. Philips & Co.; Sir Clifford Radcliffe.

J. D. P.