R v Sanghera (Rashpal)

JurisdictionEngland & Wales
Judgment Date16 October 2000
Date16 October 2000
CourtCourt of Appeal (Criminal Division)

Court and Reference:Court of Appeal ; 2000/03201/X2

Judges

Lord Woolf CJ, Steel and Butterfield JJ

R
and
Sanghera

Appearances:A Jones QC for S; K G Thomas for the Crown

Issue

Whether Code B applied to searches of a victim's premises which were carried out with the occupier's consent

Facts

S was the sub-postmaster of a Post Office. He claimed to be the victim of an armed robbery in which over £60,000 was stolen. He and his wife both made witness statements and at the request of the police handed over both sets of keys to the premises which belonged to them. The premises were searched, ostensibly under the authority of the consent of the Post Office Investigation Department but in fact no such consent had been given; and in any event the premised belonged to S and his wife and so their consent was needed. During the course of the search £4390 was found hidden in a cardboard box. A surveillance video was installed and S was later seen looking in the cardboard box. He was arrested, tried, and convicted of theft of the £4390. He had argued that the evidence of what was found on the premises should have been excluded because it had been unlawfully obtained in breach of the Code dealing with the searching of premises; and the commissioners who had authorised the surveillance had been misled into thinking that the investigation concerned the money taken in the armed robbery whereas it concerned the £4,390 which was found. The judge allowed the evidence to be given. S appealed in relation to the Code of Practice argument.

Judgment

The Lord Chief Justice

1. On 4 May 2000, following a 3-day trial in the Crown Court at Cardiff, before HHJ David Morris, the appellant was convicted of theft and was sentenced to 4 months' imprisonment. He now appeals against conviction with the leave of the single judge.

2. The appellant was the sub-postmaster at the Bargoed Post Office in Gwent. On Saturday 26 June 1999 he claimed to be the victim of an armed robbery at the post office in which, according to a subsequent audit by the post office, over £60,000 was stolen. He and his wife both made witness statements and at the request of the police handed over both sets of keys to the premises. The premises, although a post office, are the property of the appellant and his wife.

3. On the following day, the appellant was taken by the police to the post office to assist them with the investigation. The next day, Monday 28 June, the appellant was unable to obtain access to the post office because the police were still occupying it. He made a further witness statement at the police station. The same day, at about 3.05pm, a Premises Search Record was completed. The form deals with various options: the power under which a search is made; the necessity for the written authority of an inspector; the situation where an inspector is later informed of the search; and the situation where a person is arrested during or immediately prior to the search. The box under the heading "Search With Consent" was ticked. The search was carried out apparently with the consent of the Post Office Investigation Department. However, the form was never signed and it is common ground that no consent was ever obtained from the Post Office Investigation Department. Equally, it is common ground that if a search was to be performed with written consent, as the form anticipated, the consent should have been that of the appellant and his wife and not that of any investigation department of the Post Office.

4. During the course of the search which was conducted at the premises, attention was drawn by the appellant to money which belonged to the appellant and his wife. On Tuesday 29 June, the police again delayed returning the keys to the appellant. On that date there was an application made by the police under Part 3 of the Police Act 1997 to the Chief Constable to install a video camera in order to monitor what was happening within the post office...

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3 cases
  • R v Johnson (Harold Robert)
    • United Kingdom
    • Court of Appeal (Criminal Division)
    • Invalid date
  • DPP v Morrison
    • United Kingdom
    • Queen's Bench Division (Administrative Court)
    • 4 April 2003
    ...out that the Code does not have the force of statute law, and he drew our attention to the decision of the Court of Appeal in Sanghera [2001] 1 Cr App R 20, but we can find nothing in that decision to cast doubt on the proposition that provided they do not go beyond what is reasonable in th......
  • R v Andrew John Tyson
    • United Kingdom
    • Court of Appeal (Criminal Division)
    • 14 January 2005
    ...means applying law which could not have been applied at the time of the conviction. See R v Bentley [2001] 1 Cr App R 21, R v Johnson [2001] 1 Cr App R 20 and Kansal (No 2) [2002] 2 AC 69, and (2) that in the light of the House of Lords' decision in R v J the appellant's conviction must be ......
1 books & journal articles
  • Improperly Obtained Evidence in the Commonwealth: Lessons for England and Wales?
    • United Kingdom
    • International Journal of Evidence & Proof, The No. 11-2, May 2007
    • 1 May 2007
    ...[1990] 2 All ER 187.16 See e.g. RvCooke [1995] 1 Cr App R 318; RvKhan [1996] 3 All ER 289;RvChalkley [1998] 2 All ER 155; RvSanghera [2001] 1 Cr App R 20 (p. 299); RvLoveridge [2001] EWCA Crim 973, [2001] 2 Cr App R 29 (p.591).17 Commentary on RvKhan [1995] QB 27 at [1994] Crim LR 832, quot......

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