HC Deb 30 April 1986 vol 96 c991
Mr. Giles Shaw

I beg to move amendment No. 18, in page 5, line 9 leave out '2 to 4' and insert '1 to 5'.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

With this we may take Government amendments Nos. 66 to 68.

Mr. Cash

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I do not know whether hon. Members have noticed that there is a curious smell in the Chamber which seems to be associated with food that has somehow wafted through the air-conditioning system. Can that be looked into, because if it persists it will be most unpleasant?

Mr. Deputy Speaker

I have detected it myself, and I shall have inquiries made.

Mr. Giles Shaw

I rise in an aroma of take-away.

These amendments are relatively straightforward. Clause 7(2) as drafted provides that clauses 2 to 4 create only one offence for the purpose of the rules against charging more than one offence in the same count or information. The offence in clause 5 can be committed either by using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour or by the use of disorderly behaviour.

It is possible that a court will decide that two offences are thereby created and that an information charging someone with an offence would be bad for duplicity if it did not clearly indicate which conduct it was alleged the accused had committed. To guard against that eventuality amendment No. 18 extends clause 7(2) to clause 5 and also to clause 1 to avoid unnecessary argument in relation to any alternative element in the offence. The other amendments are similar and consequential.

Amendment agreed to.

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