HC Deb 03 May 1971 vol 816 cc1007-8
30. Mr. Arthur Lewis

asked the Attorney-General whether he will publish in the OFFICIAL REPORT as much detailed information as may be readily available giving for the longest most convenient period of time the number of public trials at the High Courts which have taken place where the accused have been found not guilty and costs awarded against the prosecution; and how long it has been before the taxed costs in each

Date and Court Name Offence Amount Date paid
12.2.68—Cardiff Assizes Doxsey, S. W. and Ors. Conspiracy and Corruption. £1,260 26.6.68
5.12.68—Divisional Court Freed, G.J Exchange Control £420 6.2.69
27.1.70—Court of Appeal Bean, H. and Anor. Theft of Government Stores. £150 18.2.70
5.10.70—Central Criminal Court. Crouch, J. E. Corruption £42 14.10.70

case have been delivered; and whether he will publish details of such taxed costs.

The Attorney-General (Sir Peter Rawlinson)

During the period 1st January, 1968, to 31st December, 1970, there were four trials in which the Director of Public Prosecutions was the prosecutor and costs were awarded against the prosecution. I will publish the details in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Mr. Lewis

We are used to the legal profession taking so long to do their legal work, no doubt because they get paid higher fees the longer cases go on, but why should it take so long and so many questions to get the facts and figures of these taxed costs? When will the right hon. and learned Gentleman be able to tell me the actual taxed costs of the recent Daily Telegraph case, which was a scandal? Shall I get them in two or three years, or shall I have to wait for about 10 years?

The Attorney-General

On the last part of that question, the case to which the hon. Gentleman referred was not a case in which costs were awarded against the prosecutor. As for the delay in giving the information, his original Question asked for as much detailed information as was possible of cases in which costs had been awarded against the prosecution. I have given it.

Mr. Lipton

What costs were involved in the last case mentioned by my hon. Friend—the prosecution under the Official Secrets' Act? How much did that cost the Government?

The Attorney-General

Fortunately, although that does not arise out of this Question, I can give those details, because I have answered a Question about the matter before. The prosecution costs came to £5,816. The defence has not yet had its costs taxed.

Following is the information: