QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION
THE ADMINISTRATIVE COURT
B e f o r e :
|THE QUEEN ON THE APPLICATION OF MILLS-OWENS||(CLAIMANT)|
|THE CHIEF CONSTABLE OF THE HAMPSHIRE CONSTABULARY||(DEFENDANT)|
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MR SAVILL (instructed by FORCE SOLICITOR, HAMPSHIRE CONSTABULARY) appeared on behalf of the DEFENDANT
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"found ... no real signs of occupation by anybody. Mr Tooley said that he adopted a technique of shutting a twig in the door so that when he returned he could check it, and on his visits it was apparent that the doors had not been opened. Mr Tooley took photographs on the 10th July which show the garden in a very overgrown state, with vegetation growing up close to the house in places. Photographs of, if I can put it like this, clutter of all sorts in the kitchen and in certain bedrooms, a leaking roof in the lounge, all the photographs which to my eye, and that of my colleagues, indicate that the place is very considerably neglected and suggest that nobody is actually living there on any sort of regular basis."
"He found then that there was no sign of any change in what he observed around the premises during that time, and ... Mr Mills-Owens accepts that he was not actually in residence during that period."
"He says that he does spend time, from time to time, at Westwood ... He visits there, he says. He does not simply use it as storage, although he does say that he has stored quite a lot of goods, from the London house that he has inherited, there."
Plainly he was cross-examined by counsel at the hearing about his movements and habits. The judge said this:
"I have to say that we, I and my colleagues, found his answers really not very helpful to tell us exactly what he was doing, where he was living from time to time, how much time particularly he spent in this house in Hampshire."
There is a reference in the judgment to the burden and standard of proof and no issue is taken with that. The judgment then continued in these terms:
"In our view Mr Mills-Owens has not come anywhere near satisfying us that he is in any sort of regular residence at Westwood in Hangersley. He told us it has been in his family for many years -- some 34 years I think he said, or perhaps a little longer -- I think he said it was bought in 1964. His father lived there off and on, not all the time because the whole family spends quite a lot of time abroad, but his father died sadly in 1987 and since then Mr Mills-Owens says he has lived there from time to time ...
"He has various other addresses at which he lives, and we are quite unpersuaded that he lives at Westwood for more than the odd night in the year. Indeed in this year he virtually accepted in evidence that because of the demands on his time he has spent very little time there indeed."
"Mr Mills-Owens' evidence is totally lacking in any sort of particularity as to precisely when he was in residence, there is no supporting evidence of any kind as to payment for services, telephone bills, gas bills, water rates -- he says he pays them, no doubt he does -- but he has not produced anything to indicate what sort of bills he has, how much these services cost him, which would give an indication of the degree of use of the premises. There is no evidence that anything is ever done in the garden. Mr Mills-Owens says he likes his garden to be left to its own devices, but all these matters, to our mind, are indications of non-residence.
"All those matters taken together ... leave us with the clear conclusion that the Chief Constable is right when he says that he is not satisfied, and cannot be satisfied, that Mr Mills-Owens does actually reside at the premises."
"(a) Whether our construction of section 26(1) of the 1968 Act as amended was right and
"(b) Whether the evidence justified our conclusion."
"An application for the grant of a firearm or shot gun certificate shall be made in the prescribed form to the chief officer of police for the area in which the applicant resides and shall state such particulars as may be required by the form."
Residence is therefore a matter which goes to the jurisdiction of a particular chief constable in the exercise of his statutory powers. Before the Crown Court, reference was made to the case of Burditt v Joslin  3 All ER 203, where the significance of residence was considered by the Divisional Court. The Court accepted in that case that people can have two or more residences. Nevertheless, residence is something which has to be established on the facts of a particular case.