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Surveillance Evidence: Trump Card or Joker? Grant v Newport City Council [2018] EWHC 3813 Ch - Vinesh Mistry, Barrister, DWF Advocacy Ltd

19//02/20. Grant v Newport City Council [2018] EWHC 3813 Ch (“Grant”) is a fairly typical multi-track 'slip and trip'. Over the course of litigation, the defendant covertly monitored the claimant. The defendant initially obtained footage of the claimant walking, and further surveillance then demonstrated her working. This was all contrary to the claimant's pleaded case. Approximately 4 weeks before trial, the defendant disclosed the surveillance evidence to the claimant and applied for permission to rely on the same and to amend its Defence to aver fraud.

At first instance, His Honour Judge Jarman QC dismissed the application as: (1) the trial would have been adjourned if permission was granted; and (2) the defendant was tardy in bringing its application. The defendant appealed this decision.

Issues and Judgment

The first issue considered by Birss J was the date on which the defendant should have disclosed the surveillance footage. The defendant monitored the claimant in February 2018 and then again in March 2018. The two pieces of footage were disclosed to the claimant in one tranche in June 2018. Birss J held that "the defendant could and should have disclosed the February footage at that stage … if it wanted to ensure there was no risk of procedural unfairness to the claimant…"

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