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Ingram v Little [1961] 1 QB 31   Court of Appeal

Two sisters Hilda and Elsie Ingram sold their car to a rogue calling himself Mr. Hutchinson. They agreed a price for cash, but when the rogue offered a cheque Elsie said the deal was off. She wanted cash or no sale. The rogue then gave them his full name and address and Hilda went to the post office, which was two minutes down the road, to check the details out. When she returned she informed Elsie that the details checked out and the sisters agreed to let Mr. Hutchinson take the car. The cheque was dishonoured and the car was sold on to Mr. Little. The sisters brought an action to recover the car.

Held: The contract was void for mistake. The Court of Appeal held that the sisters only intended to deal with Mr. Hutchinson at the address given because they were not willing to offer a sale for payment by cheque from anyone else. This case has received widespread criticism and has not been followed since.

Back to lecture outline on Mistake in Contract Law