Benjamin Waidhofer

Benjamin Waidhofer recovers bail security following successful Judicial Review against an order for forfeiture

In R (on the application of Spencer) v City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court [2017] EWHC 3603 (Admin), [2018] A.C.D. 21 Benjamin Waidhofer, instructed by Fadi Daoud at Lawrence & Co CDS LLP, successfully applied to quash an order at Westminster Magistrates’ Court for the forfeiture of a security deposited at the magistrates’ court.

Following that success, Benjamin Waidhofer, instructed by Fadi Daoud at Lawrence & Co CDS LLP, was instructed to conduct the subsequent forfeiture proceedings.  At the conclusion of those proceedings, the Court (having previously ordered that the full security be forfeit) ordered the return of 50% of that security together with 50% of Ms Spencer’s costs.

On 27 and 28 May 2015, at Westminster Magistrates’ Court, District Judge Zani ordered the extradition of Patrick Spiteri to Malta.  Mr Spiteri had, earlier in the proceedings, been released on conditional bail.  Ms Spencer, his mother-in-law, stood as a security for him and deposited £70,000 with the court. He subsequently failed to surrender to police custody when required to do so.

On 5 August 2016, Ms Spencer sought the return of her security.  At first instance, the District Judge ordered the Ms Spencer to forfeit the entire £70,000 deposited at court.

On appeal, the decision of the District Judge was quashed.

On 29 June 2018, the District Judge, having re-heard the original application, ordered Ms Spencer to forfeit 50% of her security (amounting to £35,000) and further reduced the amount which should be forfeited in light of the costs Ms Spencer had incurred contesting the matter at the magistrates’ court.

The obligations upon sureties and securities are onerous.  Members of chambers are often instructed to advise individuals of those obligations in both criminal and extradition proceedings.