Laughing Gas in UK Law

Leading Cases
  • Balogh v St. Albans Crown Court
    • Court of Appeal
    • 04 Jul 1974

    During the trial he took a half-cylinder of it from the hospital car park. He was waiting for a moment when he could slip up to the roof without anyone seeing him. The officers of the Court had watched him go up to the roof. They kept him in custody and reported the matter to Mr. Justice Melford Stevenson, who was presiding in No. 1 Court (not the pornography Court). At the end of the day's hearing, at 4.15 p.m., the Judge had Balogh brought before him.

    As I have said, a Judge should act of his own motion only when it is urgent and imperative to act immediately. In all other cases he should not take it upon himself to move. He should leave it to the Attorney-General or to the party aggrieved to make a motion in accordance with the rules in Order 52. The reason is so that he should not appear to be both prosecutor and judge: for that is a role which does not become him well.

    When this case was opened, it occurred to each one of us: Was Mr. Balogh guilty of the offence of contempt of Court? He was undoubtedly guilty of stealing the cylinder of gas, but was he guilty of contempt of Court? Were not his acts merely preparatory acts falling short of an attempt? But he is not guilty of attempting to break into the house. He had the criminal intent to break in, but that is not enough. So here Mr. Balogh had the criminal intent to disrupt the Court, but that is not enough.

  • R v M
    • Court of Appeal
    • 14 Ago 2008

    Both Rooney and Balogh were cases of alleged criminal contempt, that is to say either contempt in the face of the court or conduct tending to interfere with a trial which is underway or just about to begin. There are two possible ways of dealing with criminal contempt: one by the exercise of the summary jurisdiction, the other by an application to a Divisional Court. Neither case has anything to say about civil contempt; that is to say breach of a court order carrying the contempt sanction.

  • Alan Wilkinson and Lord Chancellor's Department and official Solicitor
    • Court of Appeal
    • 04 Feb 2003

    In a serious case such as this, particularly where there are ongoing proceedings between the same parties, it may be entirely proper to invoke the summary procedure even though the immediate hearing is over.

    In many cases where there has perforce to be a delay between the alleged contempt and the summary trial, it will be wise for the judge to refer the matter to one of her colleagues if for no other reason than to avoid the risk that this argument will be run.

  • R v Santiago (Steven Anthony)
    • Court of Appeal
    • 08 Mar 2005

    We conclude that a judge is entitled to defer taking action on a prima facie contempt. He may adjourn the issue of whether a contempt was committed and any issue of punishment until later. The fact that the trial is over or the fact that there is no immediate need to take action does not prevent the judge from later taking action. Indeed he should not take action immediately if to do so would be unfair to the defendant.

See all results
See all results
Books & Journal Articles
See all results
Law Firm Commentaries
  • ASA Adjudications Snapshot - November 2010
    • Mondaq United Kingdom
    ....... NON-COMMERCIAL. 15. ITV Broadcasting Ltd t/a UTV, 10 November 2010. A Department of the Environment TV advert showed a young boy laughing and playing in a garden. The next scene showed a young man celebrating after scoring a goal during a football match and then having a pint of beer ......
See all results