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The Food (Northern Ireland) Order 1989

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Prosecutions

52.—(1) A prosecution for an offence under this Order or regulations made under it which is punishable on conviction on indictment or on summary conviction shall not be begun after the expiration of—

(a)three years from the commission of the offence; or

(b)one year from its discovery by the complainant,

whichever is the earlier.

(2) Where a sample has been procured under this Order, a prosecution in respect of the article or substance sampled shall not be begun—

(a)where the sample was of milk, after the expiration of the period of twenty-eight days beginning with the date on which the sample was procured;

(b)where the sample was not of milk, after the expiration of the period of two months beginning with the date on which the sample was procured;

unless the justice of the peace before whom the complaint is made, on being satisfied on oath that having regard to the circumstances of the particular case it was not practicable to make the complaint at an earlier date, gives a certificate to that effect.

(3) Where a certificate issued under paragraph (2) relates to a prosecution in respect of a sample of milk, that prosecution shall not in any case be begun after the expiration of the period of forty-two days beginning with the date on which the sample was procured.

(4) Where a sample has been procured under this Order, any prosecution in respect of the article or substance sampled shall, subject to paragraphs (5) and (6), be brought before a court having jurisdiction in the place where the sample was procured.

(5) Where a sample procured within the district of one district council is for the purposes of this Order deemed to have been procured within the district of another, a prosecution may be brought either before the court having jurisdiction in any part of the district within which the sample was procured, or before a court having jurisdiction in any part of the district within which the sample is deemed to have been procured.

(6) Where an article or a substance sampled under this Order was sold and actually delivered to the purchaser, a prosecution may be brought before a court having jurisdiction at the place of delivery.

(7) Any prosecution under this Order or any regulations made under it in respect of an article or substance which has been sampled shall not be heard or determined earlier than fourteen days after the date of service of the summons, and in any such proceedings a copy of—

(a)any certificate of analysis obtained on behalf of the prosecutor; and

(b)any certificate given by a justice of the peace under paragraph (2);

shall be served with the summons.

(8) In any prosecution under this Order or any regulations made under it, where a sample has been procured in such circumstances that its division into parts is required by this Order, the part of the sample retained by the person who procured it shall be produced at the hearing.

(9) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), a person is not liable to be prosecuted for an offence under this Order or regulations made under it which was committed before 6th January 1987.

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