Property Law uk

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Committal

Hearsay evidence

Length of sentence

Wear Valley District Council v Robson
[2008] EWCA Civ 1470

Summary

Hearsay evidence is admissible on an application for committal for breach of an anti-social behaviour injunction.

Facts

The local authority landlord sought and were granted an anti-social behaviour injunction. Shortly after the injunction was granted, L alleged that T had committed further acts of anti-social behaviour and applied for his committal. L’s tenancy officer gave evidence as to the abuse that was experienced by other tenants:
    "The evidence on breach (1) consisted in Mr Walton's hearsay account of what had been said to him on the telephone by a housing officer, Mrs Price. She reported loud music being played. Breaches (2) and (4) rested on Mr Walton's hearsay account of what was said to him by unnamed residents of Greenside Place."
T was sentenced to six months.

Appeal

T appealed on two grounds. Firstly, that hearsay evidence should not have been permitted, but live evidence called and the standard of proof should have been the criminal standard. Secondly, he argued that the sentence was manifestly excessive in light of the guidance given in Hale v Tanner [2000] 1 WLR 2377, CA.

Decision

There was no need for live evidence. The hearsay evidence was admissible in these types of proceedings (see paras 9 and 10). Hale was a family case and did not apply to breaches of anti-social behaviour orders (para 11); and the sentence was not too severe.

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