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England and Wales High Court (Administrative Court) Decisions
You are here: BAILII >> Databases >> England and Wales High Court (Administrative Court) Decisions >> Bennett v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions  EWHC 371 (Admin) (27 January 2012)
Cite as:  EWHC 371 (Admin)
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QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION
London WC2A 2LL
B e f o r e :
MR JUSTICE CRANSTON
|SECRETARY OF STATE FOR WORK AND PENSIONS||Defendant|
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Miss H Gilest (instructed by Department of Work and Pensions) appeared on behalf of the Defendant
Crown Copyright ©
MR JUSTICE CRANSTON:
The case stated
(a) The charges were authorised within the permitted statutory period. The three-month period referred to within section 116(2)(a) and (b) of the Social Security and Administration Act 1992 was not relevant to the facts of the case in view of the words "whichever period last expires"?
(b) The delay in preparing the case for prosecution was justified in the circumstances of the case although the charges were authorised within two days of the 12-month period referred to in section 116 of the aforementioned Act?
(c) Before commencing a prosecution the Secretary of State was not under an obligation to keep detailed records of enquiries made by the appellant together with identity and contact information of job centre staff?
(d) The appellant would not be unfairly prejudiced by the passage of time in this case. She would be able to give evidence herself in relation to any discussions she had had with any member of staff at the job centre?
"(2) Notwithstanding anything in any Act -
(a) proceedings for an offence under this Act other than an offence relating to housing benefit or council tax benefit...may be begun at any time within the period of 3 months from the date on which evidence, sufficient in the opinion of the Secretary of State to justify a prosecution for the offence, comes to his knowledge or within a period of 12 months from the commission of the offence, whichever period last expires; and
(b) proceedings for an offence under this Act relating to housing benefit or council tax benefit may be begun at any time within the period of 3 months from the date on which evidence, sufficient in the opinion of the appropriate authority to justify a prosecution for the offence, comes to the authority's knowledge or within a period of 12 months from the commission of the offence, whichever period last expires."
The appellant's case