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Organizer Allowed Free Seats : 10s. Fine in Contract Case

15th February 1952
Page 31
Page 31, 15th February 1952 — Organizer Allowed Free Seats : 10s. Fine in Contract Case
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Keywords : Tickets, Sports, Law / Crime

APARTY organizer who received £1 10s. in excess of the charge for the hire of a coach from 'the members of the party, and who used three free tickets given by a theatre in respect of a block booking, was fined 10s. at Peterborough, last week. The coach proprietors involved were found not guilty.

For the Eastern Licensing Authority, Mr. A. H. Wild said that one of the defendants, Mrs. Louisa Thornton, 55, I3ushmead Road, Eaton Socon, St. Neots, organized a party to visit the Embassy Theatre, Peterborough, and arranged with Messrs. Safford, Little Gransden, for the hire of a coach_at ES. Messrs. Safford obtained the tickets from the theatre; they were bought at 2s. 2d. each. Mrs. Thornton made an all-in charge to 33 people who went on the excursion, but only 30 people paid the 6s. 6d. charge. Thus, £9 I5s, was collected, leaving £1 10s. after the coach hiring fee and the cost of the tickets had been paid.

• Balance to Cover Loss • A traffic examiner said that Mrs. Thornton told him that the complimentary tickets were used by her and two relatives, and that the balance of the money was to cover the loss if anyone dropped out of the party. The prosecution submitted that free seats in the coach and the complimentary tickets received constituted "remuneration" Within the meaning of the Road Traffic Act, which did not state whether remuneration were to come from the cOach proprietors. .

It was stated in evidence for the proprietors that they were in no way con cerned with the arrangements made for the party and that they had no idea what Mrs. Thornton charged. The. £5 fee was to be paid regardless of how many people were to be carried.

Mrs. Thornton testified that she • organized three outings to the Embassy Theatre in 1951 and that she did not make an overall profit. She sustained a loss on the second and her friends agreed to pay an extra 6d. on the next -out of which the prosecution arose. The receipts from this outing came to £9 I5s., out of which she paid £8 5s. plus 6d. per head gratuity for the driver, leaving 13s. 6d. This did not cover previous losses.

Not '``' Remuneration " Mr. T. R. Parsons, for the defence, submitted that if a loss were made good on another trip, it would hardly amount to remuneration. The sum left over was so trifling that it was not the " remuneration " intended by the Act in its means for preventing people from earning a living by organizing coach parties. The Act could not intend that an organizer' must always risk losing money with no chance to recoup deficiencies.

The Bench found that an offence had been committed, but did not look Upon Mrs. Thornton's activities as if she were trying to make a business out of them.

There were similar summonses against a South Lines coach owner and other persons, but Mr. Wild said that in view of the decision in the,Thornton case he would 'request an adjournment so that he could get further instructions. This was granted.

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