QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION
Manchester Civil and Family Justice Centre
1 Bridge Street West
B e f o r e :
MR JUSTICE EDIS
|MARIE LOUISE VAN HECKE||Claimant|
|MANCHESTER & SALFORD MAGISTRATES COURT & ORS||Defendant|
WordWave International Limited Trading as DTI
165 Fleet Street London EC4A 2DY
Tel No: 020 7404 1400 Fax No: 020 7831 8838
(Official Shorthand Writers to the Court)
Crown Copyright ©
"The place was considered by all authorities to be one of the cleanest and best run in the Manchester area."
She does not there or elsewhere actually describe the category of business in which hers was so widely acclaimed.
"The Gallery Health Club and Sauna is an establishment that has been in business and has developed a reputation among the community for being a brothel. This business is run from 145-147 Liverpool Road Cadishead, Salford. The owner lives at the address for which this warrant is applied for. Several pieces of intelligence state that the business is a brothel and that illegal immigrants are working there. Information has also been received to suggest that the sex workers are being exploited in that they only receive minimal pay for services provided."
Business rates are paid for the Gallery premises by A & G Drilling Trading as "The Gallery". A check at Companies House revealed that A & G Diamond Drilling is not a listed company.
"All of the material will prove that the business is a brothel and assist with the prosecution of anyone concerned in the management or running of the brothel also if applicable evidence to support offences of trafficking as described in intelligence logs."
Asked by the form to state whether there was "any reason to think that the material for which you want to search consists of or includes items subject to legal privilege excluded material or special procedure material" the applicant had written "no items subject to legal privilege is likely to be seized".
(a) that it is not practicable to communicate with any person entitled to grant entry to the premises.
(b) that it is practicable to communicate with a person entitled to grant entry to the premises but it is not practicable to communicate with any person entitled to grant excess to the evidence.
(c) that entry to the premises will not be granted unless a warrant is produced and
(d) that the purpose of a search may be frustrated or seriously prejudiced unless a constable arriving at the premises can secure immediate entry to them.
"As the day-to-day business at the premises is illegal accessing without a warrant would not be appropriate. Entry to the premises would be refused and evidence destroyed or removed. Immediate secured entry will ascertain any offences of human trafficking or exploitation."
"Is there anything of which you are aware that might reasonably be considered capable of undermining any of the grounds of this application or which for some other reason might affect the court's decision. Include anything that might reasonably call into question the credibility of information you have received and explain why you have decided that the information can still be relied upon."
The applicant said in answer to that question "no".
"Reasons for believing material is on the premises. Intelligence logs received and harm reduction visit confirms that the premises is a brothel and also confirmed that the owner lives at this address. Checks confirm this.
(c) Reasons for believing access conditions met due to the nature of the business access would be refused without a warrant."
The Grounds of Challenge
"(1) The claim form must be filed.
(a) promptly and.
(b) in any event not later than 3 months after the grounds to make the claim first arose."
"The claim was made within the normal 3 month time limit for judicial review and the claimant complied with the pre-action protocol. The defendant has identified no reason why in the circumstances of this case this was not sufficiently prompt. In particular given the specialist nature of the claim and the other issues affecting the claimant in context of the search."
This places the onus in the wrong place; it was the claimant who failed to bring the claim promptly and it is for her to show why it nevertheless should be allowed proceed. The fact that a claim may be specialist is not a reason for delay. Specialist lawyers are able to react at least as promptly as others. Since they are specialist, they may even be able to act more promptly than others.