On enchantment from:  EWCA 1579
This case concerns whether or not or not the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA) permits a variation to a restraint order to cowl reasonably priced approved payments in respect of civil proceedings primarily based on the equivalent or comparable allegations or information as these giving rise to the making of the restraint order .
POCA gives the courts the flexibility to make a restraint order freezing the belongings of an alleged jail, with the final intention of guaranteeing that the proceeds of crime could also be confiscated by the State inside the event in opposition to the regulation has been devoted. A variation to a restraint order may be made to allow an alleged jail to cowl reasonably priced approved payments moreover, as set out partly 41(4) of POCA, the place these approved payments “relate to an offense” which gave rise to the restraint order . Consequently, alleged criminals cannot search a variation of a restraint order to fulfill the approved costs of defending in direction of jail prosecution for the offense that gave rise to the restraint order, or for instance, in proceedings resisting the imposition of the restraint order.
Andrew Luckhurst, a former expert sportsman, is charged with offenses of fraud and theft referring to his alleged involvement in a Ponzi scheme, and his belongings are matter to a restraint order under POCA. He’s due to stand trial in October 2022. Individually, Mr Luckhurst moreover faces civil proceedings launched by merchants inside the alleged Ponzi scheme. Mr Luckhurst utilized for a variation to the restraint order so that he may pay £3,000 for approved illustration in respect of the civil proceedings. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) opposed this variation, arguing that half 41(4) would not permit a variation to cowl such approved payments the place the civil proceedings arose from the equivalent or comparable information or allegations as a result of the jail offense that gave rise to the restraint orders.
At first event, the resolve found that such a variation was not permitted by half 41(4) as a result of the civil proceedings did “relate to” the offense giving rise to the restraint order. Mr Luckyhurst appealed. The Court docket docket of Enchantment disagreed with the resolve, discovering that half 41(4) would not cease the variation requested by Mr Luckhurst. The CPS then appealed to the Supreme Court docket docket.
HELD – The Supreme Court docket docket unanimously dismissed the enchantment.
The Supreme Court docket docket found that the correct interpretation of half 41(4) of POCA would not cease a variation of a restraint order to fulfill reasonably priced approved payments in civil proceedings, even in circumstances the place these civil proceedings come up from the equivalent or comparable information or allegations as a result of the offense that gave rise to the restraint order.
Lord Burrows items out the correct trendy technique to statutory interpretation, which is that the court docket docket is anxious to find out the which means of the phrases utilized by Parliament, and in so doing, the context and purpose of the provision or provisions are essential. On a pure finding out of the phrases of their context, approved payments in civil proceedings do not “relate to” a jail offense. Any attempt to hyperlink approved payments in civil proceedings to a jail offense requires finding out into the statute a examine which is not found inside the phrases of the statute itself.
The purpose behind the associated statutory provisions is to steadiness the purpose of enabling the confiscation of proceeds of crime with the need to ensure that the alleged jail can apply for a variation of the restraint order to fulfill certain types of payments. Allowing a variation to cowl reasonably priced approved payments incurred in relations to civil proceedings would not contradict this protection. Subsequently, the pure which means of the phrases inside the gentle of their context and purpose signifies that approved payments incurred in respect of civil proceedings are often not matter to a blanket prohibition, nonetheless reasonably a variation to a restraint order to cowl such payments is managed by the courts’ discretion within the equivalent technique as completely different permissible variations, similar to residing payments.
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