Source: All England Reporter
Publisher Citation: [2002] All ER (D) 330 (Oct)
Neutral Citation: [2002] EWHC 2164 (Admin)
Court: Administrative Court

Stanley Burnton J

Representation Alan Newman QC and Graham Brodie (instructed by Burton Copeland) for the claimant.
  Nicolas Ainley (instructed by the Solicitor of Inland Revenue) for the defendant.
Judgment Dates: 23 October 2002


Criminal evidence and procedure - Search and seizure - Document - Computer hard drive - Inland Revenue removing computer hard drives following agreement by third party - Legality of seizure - s 20C.

The Case

If an Inland Revenue officer who entered premises under the authority of a warrant under s20C of the found a computer's hard drive, and he had reasonable cause to believe that the data on the computer's hard disk might be required as evidence for the purpose of criminal proceedings, he could seize and remove that computer even though it contained irrelevant material. Thereafter, the officer should make a copy of the contents of the hard drive and return the computer pursuant to s20CC(3).

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