Enforcement notice: criminal proceedings: statutory defence

Hargrave House Ltd v Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court  [2018] EWHC 279 (Admin):

18 At paragraphs 15-17 of his judgement the learned District Judge summarised the principles deriving from 3 authorities: Sevenoaks District Council v Harber [2008] EWHC 708 ; R v Beard [1997] 1 PLR 64 and R v Clarke [2002] EWCA Crim 753 . The 2nd and 3rd principles in the Sevenoaks case are that before the statutory defence can arise, the owner must show that compliance with the notice is not within their powers and that the relevant question is whether the defendant is incapable of compliance, not whether there is a reasonable excuse for non-compliance. The defence is concerned only with the ability to comply not wider issues such as hardship or reasonableness of compliance. The phrase “… everything he could be expected to do” must implicitly be read applying an objective criterion of reasonableness having regard to all the relevant circumstances.18 At paragraphs 15-17 of his judgement the learned District Judge summarised the principles deriving from 3 authorities: Sevenoaks District Council v Harber [2008] EWHC 708 ; R v Beard [1997] 1 PLR 64 and R v Clarke [2002] EWCA Crim 753 . The 2nd and 3rd principles in the Sevenoaks case are that before the statutory defence can arise, the owner must show that compliance with the notice is not within their powers and that the relevant question is whether the defendant is incapable of compliance, not whether there is a reasonable excuse for non-compliance. The defence is concerned only with the ability to comply not wider issues such as hardship or reasonableness of compliance. The phrase “… everything he could be expected to do” must implicitly be read applying an objective criterion of reasonableness having regard to all the relevant circumstances.18 At paragraphs 15-17 of his judgement the learned District Judge summarised the principles deriving from 3 authorities: Sevenoaks District Council v Harber [2008] EWHC 708 ; R v Beard [1997] 1 PLR 64 and R v Clarke [2002] EWCA Crim 753 . The 2nd and 3rd principles in the Sevenoaks case are that before the statutory defence can arise, the owner must show that compliance with the notice is not within their powers and that the relevant question is whether the defendant is incapable of compliance, not whether there is a reasonable excuse for non-compliance. The defence is concerned only with the ability to comply not wider issues such as hardship or reasonableness of compliance. The phrase “… everything he could be expected to do” must implicitly be read applying an objective criterion of reasonableness having regard to all the relevant circumstances.

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