Jaundrill v Gillett

JurisdictionEngland & Wales
CourtCourt of Appeal (Civil Division)
Judgment Date16 January 1996

Court of Appeal

Before Lord Justice Russell and Mr Justice Singer


Animals - horses released maliciously - innocent keeper not liable

Keeper of horses not liable for result of their release

The keeper of horses which had been maliciously released on to the road where they panicked and galloped into an oncoming car was not liable to a driver who collided with the horses.

The Court of Appeal so held allowing an appeal by Robert Gillett against a decision of Mr Recorder Hussain in Manchester County Court on March 30, 1995 in favour of the plaintiff driver, Gary Jaundrill, in the sum of £4,869.65 plus interest of £832 and costs.

Section 2 of the Animals Act 1971 provides:

"(2) Where damage is caused by an animal which does not belong to a dangerous species, a keeper of the animal is liable for the damage, except as otherwise provided by this Act, if: … (b) the likelihood of the damage or of its being severe was due to characteristics of the animal which are not normally found in animals of the same species or are not normally so found except at particular times or in particular circumstances."

Mr Patrick Field for the defendant; Mr David Allen, QC, for the plaintiff.

LORD JUSTICE RUSSELL said section 2(2)(b) of the 1971 Act had been the subject of adverse judicial comment in the past. The recorder had not had an easy task in dealing with the section.

The plaintiff had been driving in Lytham St Anne's on August 10, 1988. It was dark and he was using his headlights. The lights picked up a number of riderless horses galloping towards the car.

The horses had escaped from a field where they had been kept by the defendant. It was common ground that some malicious intruder had opened a gate and driven the horses on to the highway. The quantum of damages had been agreed but the defendant denied liability.

The only issue for the recorder was whether the plaintiff was entitled to rely on what was basically the absolute liability of the keeper of an animal other than a dangerous species.

The plaintiff had relied on the evidence of a veterinary...

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3 cases
  • Mirvahedy v Henley
    • United Kingdom
    • House of Lords
    • 3 Febrero 2005
    ...perhaps, than a dent to a car, and that the cases in which serious injury or damage results are fortunately few and far between. 99 Jaundrill v Gillett, also unreported, heard by the Court of Appeal on 16 January 1996, was, like the present case, a case in which horses had found their way f......
  • Mirvahedy v Henley
    • United Kingdom
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 21 Noviembre 2001
    ...relied upon and the doing of the damage as was present in the reported cases where liability had been found. He relied upon Jaundrill v Gillett, Court of Appeal, unreported 16 January 1996, where the damage was found due to the presence of the horses on the road rather than to any abnormal ......
  • R (Hall and Another) v Independent Assessor
    • United Kingdom
    • Queen's Bench Division (Administrative Court)
    • 13 Noviembre 2008

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