Court name
Supreme Court
Case number
CR APP 29 of 1950
Case name
Wray v Commissioner of Police
Law report citations
1950-1956 ALR S.L,62
Media neutral citation
[1950] SLSC 23
Case summary:

 Liquor - offences - keeping open licensed premises during prohibited hours - elements of offence - intoxicating liquor must be available to outsiders during prohibited hours - appeal was allowed.

Judge
Beoku-Betts, Ag CJ

WRAY v. COMMISSIONER OF POLICE

Supreme Court (Beoku-Betts, Ag.C.J.): October 9th, 1950
(Cr. App. No. 29/50)

[1] Liquor—offences—keeping open licensed premises during prohibited hours—elements of offence—intoxicating liquor must be available to outsiders during prohibited hours: In order to constitute the offence of keeping open licensed premises for the sale of intoxicating liquor during prohibited hours there must be a keeping open of the premises to enable people to come in from outside to procure intoxicating liquor, or to get it supplied to them when outside (page 63, lines 19-30).

The appellant was charged in a police magistrate’s court with keeping licensed premises open after closing hours contrary to s.26(2) of the Liquor Licence Ordinance (cap. 121).

Several persons were found in the appellant’s licensed premises during the hours of closing. No evidence was led to show whether the drinks being consumed by such persons were intoxicating or not. The appellant was convicted, and appealed to the Supreme Court on the ground that the offence charged could not be constituted unless it was estabhshed that intoxicating liquor was available during prohibited hours.

 

WRAY v. COMMISSIONER OF POLICE, 1950-56 ALR S.L. 62

 

S.C.

 

Case referred to:

(1) Commissioner of Police v. Roberts, [1904] X K.B. 369; (1903), 20 T.L.R. 105.

Dobbs for the appellant;                                                                                                       5

Benka-Coker, Ag. Sol.-Gen., for the respondent.

 

BEOKU-BETTS, Ag.C.J.:

This is an appeal against the decision of the Acting Police Magistrate in Court No. 3 on three grounds. Only one ground need be considered. It is that the decision is against the weight of the evidence. The charge was that of keeping liquor-licensed premises open after closing hours. The learned trial magistrate found that two Europeans and others were found in a part of the defendant’s bar after closing hours, and in the glasses of some of those persons were found what the magistrate described as “drinks,” and that some of the occupants of the bar were sipping drinks. There is no evi­dence to show the nature of the “drinks,” i.e., whether they were intoxicating or not.

In a charge such as the one with which the appellant was charged it is not sufficient to show that there were some “drinks” available. It is necessary that the prosecution should prove that intoxicating liquor was available within prohibited hours. In the case of Commissioner of Police v. Roberts (1), it was decided that in order to constitute the offence of keeping open licensed premises for the sale of intoxicating liquor during prohibited hours there must be a keeping open of the premises in the sense that people can come in from the outside to procure intoxicating liquor, or can get it supplied to them when outside. The learned magistrate neglected to con­sider the important requirement that there should be proof of intoxicating liquor supplied.

In the circumstances, I have no alternative but to set aside the conviction and sentence and to order that the fine, if paid, be refunded to the appellant.

Appeal allowed.

 

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