QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION
London WC2A 2LL
B e f o r e :
MR JUSTICE CALVERT SMITH
|(1) WAQAR BHATTI|
|(2) SAIMA SADIQ|
|(3) SOHAIL AKHTAR|
|(4) MIDDLESEX COLLEGE LIMITED||Claimants|
|(1) CROYDON MAGISTRATES' COURT|
|(2)THE COMMISSIONER OF POLICE OF THE METROPOLIS|
|(3) THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT||Defendants|
WordWave International Limited
A Merrill Communications Company
165 Fleet Street London EC4A 2DY
Tel No: 020 7404 1400 Fax No: 020 7404 1424
(Official Shorthand Writers to the Court)
MR JOHN BEGGS QC and MR RAJEEV SHETTY (instructed by The Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis) appeared on behalf of the Defendants
Crown Copyright ©
"a warrant -
(a) shall specify -
(i) the name of the person who applies for it;
(ii) the date on which it is issued;
(iii) the enactment under which it is issued; and (iv) each set of premises to be searched, or (in the case of an all premises warrant) the person who is in occupation or control of premises to be searched, together with any premises under his occupation or control; and.
(b) shall identify, so far as is practicable, the articles or persons to be sought."
Section 15(7) then deals with the questions of copies. It provides as follows:
"two copies shall be made of a warrant (see section 8(1A)(a) above which specifies only one set of premises and does not authorise multiple entries; and as many copies as are reasonably required may be made of any other kind of warrant."
Subsection (8) provides that the copies shall be clearly certified as copies.
Section 16 of the Act, which is concerned with the execution of warrants, provides in subsection (5) as follows:
"where the occupier of premises which are to be entered and searched is present at the time when a constable seeks to execute a warrant to enter and search them, the constable -
(a) shall identify himself to the occupier and, if not in uniform, shall produce to him documentary evidence that he is a constable;
(b) shall produce the warrant to him; and
(c) shall supply him with a copy of it."
"It will be seen that the two-paged document satisfies the requirements of para (a), and it is common ground that the one-paged document, the schedule, satisfied the requirements of para (b), so that taken together they constitute a warrant which complies with the provisions of sub-s(6). Taken separately, neither of them does so."
Nolan LJ also identified the purpose of producing two certified copies (page 61):
"the need for two certified copies of the warrant is explicable in the following way. A copy has to be served on the occupier or left at the premises and the occupier needs a copy whose authenticity does not depend on the word of the police. For their part the police need to be able to retain an authentic copy for record purposes lest any question should arise over the legality of the warrant and its execution. They also should be able to rely on a copy for whose authenticity they are not responsible."
"to be completed by the officer in charge of the search if the premises entered are not specified above: For the information of the occupier, the premises entered on this occasion are: Premises..."
And then there is a space for that box to be filled in:
"you are not entitled to be given details of, or any information about, other premises to which the warrant authorises entry."
This was completed by an officer who was legitimately part of the search party at the time when the copy warrant was handed to the occupier (who was in fact the second claimant) during the search.
"There is however substance in the complaint, that the copy of the warrant provided to the second claimant failed to specify the address of her home. This is agreed as a fact. It is further agreed that the second claimant was not shown the schedule to the warrant, and accordingly was not shown the fact that her address was on the warrant. The police explained this by saying that they did not wish her to know what other addresses were being searched. In my view that is no answer. The second claimant was entitled to be shown the warrant, and to a copy of the warrant, which must include the schedule to the warrant. What any householder wants to be satisfied about if his house is to be searched is not only that there is a warrant in existence, but that it refers to his or her address. There should be no difficulty in ensuring that the address is identified on the warrant or the schedule; there can be no difficulty in ensuring that no other addresses are identified. Either separate warrants should be obtained, or the other addresses can be redacted. In my judgment, accordingly, the execution of the warrant was not valid, the requirements of section 16(5) of PACE had not been satisfied."
"This section and section 16 below have effect in relation to the issue to constables under any enactment, including an enactment ... of warrants to enter and search premises, and an entry on or search of premises under a warrant is unlawful unless it complies with this section and section 16 below."
"We read 'it' as referring to the composite process of entering and searching under a warrant so that in order for that process to be lawful the application for and issue of the warrant has to have been in compliance with s 15 and its execution has to comply with s 16. This does no violence to the language of the subsection and gives effect to what seems to us to be its obvious legislative purpose."
"section 15 refers only to the application for and form of a search warrant whereas section 16 refers not to this but to its execution. Thus the two sections are mutually exclusive and it is difficult, therefore, to see how lawfulness can do other than require compliance with both sections."
"I accept, of course, that any failure to comply with the requirements of either section 15 or section 16 renders the whole process of entry and search unlawful ..."
"Before leaving this part of the appeal, I think it right to say something about the effect of the procedural irregularity which occurred. I accept the consequences of that procedural irregularity for the purposes of this appeal because the Chief Constable has not taken this point on this appeal. It must, however, be doubtful that the execution of a lawfully obtained warrant which will itself be lawful provided that the officer carrying out the search at the end of the search and before leaving the premises leaves a copy of the warrant in a prominent place on the premises is rendered unlawful 'ab initio' by an inadvertent failure to comply with this procedural requirement and that evidence of serious crime obtained by such a warrant is rendered inadmissible. These may be the results, but I would wish to hear the matter fully argued before reaching such conclusions. As I read the decision of the Divisional Court in R v Chief Constable of Lancashire ex p Parker and another (supra) the point was not argued, the Chief Constable of Lancashire conceding that the failure by the police to provide the owners of the premises being searched with an authentic copy of the search warrant rendered the search illegal 'ab initio'. In that case, unlike the present, there were never in existence valid copies of the search warrant. Consequently in that case the procedural error preceded the start of the search rather than coming at the end of it. As I have already indicated I would wish to reserve the effect of the procedural irregularity which actually occurred in this case to a future case ..."