On enchantment from:  EWCA 1579
This case points whether or not or not the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA) permits a variation to a restraint order to cowl reasonably priced licensed payments in respect of civil proceedings primarily based on the similar or associated allegations or particulars as these giving rise to the making of the restraint order .
POCA affords the courts the power to make a restraint order freezing the property of an alleged felony, with the final intention of constructing sure that the proceeds of crime could be confiscated by the State inside the event a prison offense has been devoted. A variation to a restraint order may be made to allow an alleged felony to cowl reasonably priced licensed payments apart from, as set out partially 41(4) of POCA, the place these licensed 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 licensed costs of defending in opposition to felony 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 concerning his alleged involvement in a Ponzi scheme, and his property are subject to a restraint order under POCA. He’s due to stand trial in October 2022. Individually, Mr Luckhurst moreover faces civil proceedings launched by patrons inside the alleged Ponzi scheme. Mr Luckhurst utilized for a variation to the restraint order so that he would possibly pay £3,000 for licensed illustration in respect of the civil proceedings. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) opposed this variation, arguing that half 41(4) does not permit a variation to cowl such licensed payments the place the civil proceedings arose from the similar or associated particulars or allegations as a result of the felony offense that gave rise to the restraint orders.
At first event, the determine 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 Courtroom docket of Attraction disagreed with the determine, discovering that half 41(4) does not forestall the variation requested by Mr Luckhurst. The CPS then appealed to the Supreme Courtroom docket.
HELD – The Supreme Courtroom docket unanimously dismissed the enchantment.
The Supreme Courtroom docket found that the precise interpretation of half 41(4) of POCA does not forestall a variation of a restraint order to fulfill reasonably priced licensed payments in civil proceedings, even in circumstances the place these civil proceedings come up from the similar or associated particulars or allegations as a result of the offense that gave rise to the restraint order.
Lord Burrows models out the precise stylish methodology 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 aim of the supply or provisions are very important. On a pure finding out of the phrases of their context, licensed payments in civil proceedings do not “relate to” a felony offense. Any try to hyperlink licensed payments in civil proceedings to a felony offense requires finding out into the statute a verify which is not found inside the phrases of the statute itself.
The intention behind the associated statutory provisions is to stability the intention of enabling the confiscation of proceeds of crime with the need to be sure that the alleged felony can apply for a variation of the restraint order to fulfill positive types of payments. Allowing a variation to cowl reasonably priced licensed payments incurred in relation to civil proceedings does not contradict this protection. Subsequently, the pure which means of the phrases inside the delicate of their context and aim signifies that licensed payments incurred in respect of civil proceedings aren’t subject to a blanket prohibition, nonetheless barely a variation to a restraint order to cowl such payments is managed by the courts’ discretion within the similar methodology as completely different permissible variations, comparable to residing payments.
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