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Volume Four - An Era of Change, Uncertainty, Depression & War - The proceedings in London - Penarth Dock Engineering v Pounds . . .

By 25th March 1963 – Pounds had “removed” the pontoon by sinking it in the dock!

At some date in 1963 the Penarth Times [101] reported “The Inner Dock is sealed off by an earthwork bund with water still in it. The dock gates are out of action.”

Penarth Dock Engineering Limited set out to obtain a mandatory injunction to enforce Pounds to remove the pontoon and pay damages. At what date this action was instigated is not known. By the time they met in court to discuss the matter, Pounds had “removed” the pontoon leaving only the question of damages and costs to settle.

It is known that a board member of Penarth Dock Engineering was Mr. Cyril Geldard and his other interests lay in a firm of Cardiff solicitors. It is thought that Mr. Geldard would have represented the company during this hearing in London but there is some uncertainty.

The writer considers however, that the time between the sale of the pontoon and the Court hearing seems to be rather too close since these cases usually take a number of years to reach Court. Maybe our solicitor for Penarth Dock Engineering saw the Pounds sign in his eyes and pulled out all the stops! Marginally humorous but highly libellous - eh!!

In 1963 - A court case ensued in London viz. Penarth Dock Engineering Co Ltd v Pounds [1963] Lloyd’s Rep. 359. Since the case set legal precedent for “disgorgement damages” they brought in the big guns to assist! Lord Denning, Master of the Rolls, presiding over the hearing and sitting as an additional judge of the Queen’s Bench Division declared:

“The question which remains is, what are the damages? True it is that the Penarth company themselves would not seem to have suffered any damage to speak of. They do not have to pay any extra rent to the British Transport Commission. The dock is no use to them; they would not have made any money out of it. But, nevertheless, in a case of this kind, as I read the law, (making reference to previous legal precedent case law) the test of the measure of damages is not what the plaintiffs have lost, but what benefit the defendant obtained by having the use of the berth; and he has been a trespasser, in my judgement, since Aug.9, 1962.


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