Case details

R (on the application of Gibson) (AP) (Appellant) v Secretary of State for Justice (Respondent)

Case ID: UKSC 2016/0052

Case summary


When a confiscation order is made under the Drug Trafficking Act 1994 ("DTA") do the words "the said sum… as was due at the time the period of detention was imposed" in s79(2) of the Magistrates’ Court Act 1980 ("MCA") mean the sum due when the default term was fixed by the Crown Court judge or the sum due when the default term was activated by the Magistrates’ Court.


After a conviction the appellant was sentenced to 25 yrs imprisonment. By a confiscation order under the DTA, the Crown Court ordered a sum to be recovered from him and, in default of payment, a term of 6 years (2190 days) to be served. The appellant failed to satisfy the order and by the time of enforcement proceedings the original sum had accrued significant interest. The Magistrates’ Court activated the default term and a commitment warrant was issued. Some sums were received from the appellant in part payment of the sum. But the repayments were credited against the default term by reference to the amount outstanding at the date of enforcement (including accrued interest) rather than the amount ordered by the judge less the payments made. The reduction on the sentence was smaller than if accrued interest was not treated as part of the reduction formula.

Judgment appealed

[2015] EWCA Civ 1148



Gene Gibson


Secretary of State for Justice



Lord Mance, Lord Reed, Lord Carnwath, Lord Hughes, Lady Black

Hearing start date

05 Dec 2017

Hearing finish date

05 Dec 2017