ON APPEAL FROM THE CROYDON COUNTY COURT
His Honour Judge Ellis
Case No 0CR20464
Strand, London, WC2A 2LL
B e f o r e :
LORD JUSTICE JACKSON
LORD JUSTICE GROSS
| CASSANDRA BUBB
|- and -
|LONDON BOROUGH OF WANDSWORTH
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Andrew Arden QC and David Lintott (instructed by Sharpe Pritchard) for the Respondent
Hearing date: 17 October 2011
Crown Copyright ©
The Master of the Rolls:
The relevant factual and legal backgound
The local authority shall also cease to be subject to the duty under this section if the applicant, having been informed of the possible consequences of refusal and of the right to request a review of the suitability of the accommodation, refuses a final offer of accommodation under Part 6."
"The reviewing officer has found as a fact that the mistake with the address on the [5 August letter] was spotted and corrected, and a corrected letter was printed on 11 August, and then hand-delivered to [Ms Bubb's] correct address the same day. The reviewing officer has set out his reasons for so finding, and in my judgment it was a conclusion that he was perfectly entitled to reach."
The contention that the Judge should have determined the factual issue himself
i) The cesser of an authority's duty under section 193 pursuant to section 193(7) depends, inter alia, on the applicant having been sent appropriate notice as therein described;
ii) Where the applicant disputes the authority's contention that the duty has ceased under the section, she must refer the issue for review under section 202(1)(b);
iii) So where, as here, the applicant says the duty has not ceased because she was not sent the appropriate notice, the review must consider and determine that issue;
iv) Any appeal to the County Court against the reviewer's decision on the issue is limited to a point of law see section 204(1);
v) Accordingly, there is no jurisdiction under the statutory scheme for the County Court to set itself up as a finder of the relevant primary facts for itself.
"not only ... if it is held to be vitiated by legal misdirection or procedural impropriety or unfairness or bias or irrationality or bad faith, but also if there is no evidence to support factual findings made or they are plainly untenable or ... if the decision-maker is shown to have misunderstood or been ignorant of an established and relevant fact."
The subsidiary contention that the Judge should have heard oral evidence
The contention that the Judge should have quashed the decision
Lord Justice Jackson:
Lord Justice Gross:
i) Fraud is not and could not be alleged as to the dating of the 11 August letter. It follows that the letter was written on that date.
ii) The only reason for writing the 11 August letter was the realisation by the Respondent that the 5 August letter had been wrongly addressed.
iii) On that footing, it is difficult to see why Mr. Adelaja's finding should be "plainly untenable": Runa Begum, at . It would involve care being taken to produce the 11 August letter but, thereafter, a failure to ensure its delivery. Though of course possible that would nonetheless be a surprising outcome.
iv) Moreover, I cannot see that there is a proper basis for disregarding Mr. Adelaja's conclusion that subsequent contact between Ms Bubb and the Respondent was unlikely to have been initiated by the Respondent in that the Respondent had no system for its employees to do so. If, however, it was Ms Bubb who initiated the contact leading to her viewing Alfreda Court, then it must be because the 11 August letter had been delivered.
v) I readily accept that there were materials and arguments supporting Ms Bubb's case, in particular those going to disturbing inefficiency on the part of the Respondent. It was for Mr. Adelaja to weigh those arguments; it is plain that he did so and I am not persuaded that this Court should intervene.