I am practising past papers and I am unsure whether a problem question refers to trespass to the person or vicarious liability.
The question is Peter owns the George Inn, a country public house with a large function room.
Rosie and Hank booked the function room for a wedding reception and evening
party. Peter knew that they were both members of a biker group, and that
members of the group had been involved in some episodes of disorder. Peter did
not normally employ security staff, but on this occasion he thought it would be
necessary. He contacted a local agency, Door Security Solutions (DSS). Peter
made a contract with DSS for them to supply a suitably qualified licensed
doorman to ensure security at the function. Peter paid DSS a lump sum for this,
and the contract provided that the person supplied would be ‘fully trained and
experienced, and properly instructed by DSS in all matters relating to public
house security’ and that Peter ‘may direct [the person supplied] as to operational
matters for the duration of the engagement’.
Gary, who works full-time for DSS, was the doorman supplied by DSS. Peter told
him to ensure that there was no disorder in the function room, and to control
admission to the function room, which has a separate entrance. Only people with
invitations were to be allowed in. Peter also told Gary to keep the bikers away
from the other parts of the public house as he was worried that there may be
trouble between them and his ordinary customers.
During the evening Sean, a biker, arrived. He is a friend of Rosie and Hank, and
was invited, but had forgotten his invitation. Gary refused to allow Sean into the
function room. Sean initially walked away, but then turned, walked towards Gary
waving his fists and shouted ‘if this weren’t a wedding do, I’d smash you!’ He
then walked towards the main entrance to the public house. Gary ran after him
and stood in the doorway, blocking his way. Gary said ‘we don’t let you lot in here.
Get out of here.’ Sean tried to push past Gary, and Gary punched Sean in the
face, knocking him out. Gary dragged Sean into a storeroom, locked the door and
immediately called the police to say that he had arrested a troublemaker.
Thirty minutes later Gary went to check on Sean. He was still unconscious, and
Gary kicked him in the ribs to wake him up.
When the police arrived, they made enquiries and decided that Sean had not
committed any criminal offence.
Thanks for your help guys