QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION
Strand, London, WC2A 2LL
B e f o r e :
MR JUSTICE KING
| Robin Lees
|- and -
|Solihull Magistrates' Court
The Commissioners for HM Revenue & Customs
Mr Rupert Jones (instructed by HMRC Solicitors Office) for the Second Defendant
Hearing date: 14th November 2013
Crown Copyright ©
Lord Justice Treacy:
"• Business and individual records including transportation and shipping documents, invoices, faxes, correspondence and other documentation relating to the supply of excise goods.
• Banking financial and accounting document, telephone and electronic communication records, diaries and written records.
• Mobile phones, fax machines, computers, electronic storage media, satellite navigation devices and other communication equipment which are believed to contain material relating to the facilitation of the offences under investigation.
• Documents relating to the movement and control of monies and assets and any other material, which appears relevant to the facilitation and methodology of the offences under investigation."
"Castle Trade are currently deemed to be "non-compliant" as they have failed to render any returns or business records to HMRC to substantiate their trading activity. They have also failed to show that any duties have been paid despite repeated requests by HMRC in order to verify their VAT returns…"
"It is believed that the companies and persons involved are producing false documentation to facilitate the fraud. Both the residential and business addresses will likely have computers, mobile phone/telecommunication data and other electronic media (e.g. USB memory sticks) which may evidence those mentioned roles within the fraud under investigation. The false documents used and records of communications in relation to the fraud are suspected of being stored on media devices likely to be found at the premises searched.
Therefore, it is necessary to search the business and residential addresses listed in this information in order to secure the evidence relating to the alleged offence. The search will be for material of [sic] associating Cross Transport Limited with AQ Wholesale Limited and Castle Trade Services Limited to the fraud being committed."
"(1) If on an application made by a constable a justice of the peace is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for believing –
(a) that an indictable offence has been committed; and
(b) that there is material on premises…which is likely to be of substantial value (whether by itself or together with other material) to the investigation of the offence; and
(c) that the material is likely to be relevant evidence; and
(d) that it does not consist of or include items subject to legal privilege, excluded material or special procedure material; and
(e) that any of the conditions specified in subsection (3) below applies in relation to each set of premises specified in the application,
he may issue a warrant authorising a constable to enter and search the premises.
(4) In this Act, "relevant evidence", in relation to an offence, means anything that would be admissible as evidence at trial for the offence."
"(1) This section and section 16 below have effect in relation to the issue to constables under any enactment, including an enactment contained in an Act passed after this Act, of warrants to enter and search premises; and an entry and search of premises under a warrant is unlawful unless it complies with this section and section 16 below.
(6) A warrant –
(b) shall identify, as far as practicable, the articles or persons to be sought."
"A search under a warrant may only be a search to the extent required for the purpose for which the warrant was issued."
The Parties' Submissions
"On this basis the Magistrates had reasonable grounds to suspect that evidence relevant to the investigation would be found on the premises. Further, the specific items listed, would be of substantial value to the investigation. Each item searched for relates to each address to be searched."
Conclusions on Ground One
Conclusions on Ground Two
Conclusions on Ground Three
Mr Justice King: