Clarke gave evidence which was of value to the crown. Without that evidence there would have been no case. Crown refuses to pay reward. No consideration and no intention with regard to the reward. The Crown holds that no contract was formed between them and Clarke.
- Was there a contract between Clarke and the Crown and how would one determine this contract?
The court, despite objecting on public policy grounds that not finding a contract would disuade other individuals from coming forward with evidence for rewards in the future, held that Clarke could not accept an offer he didn't know about citing Fitch v Snedaker and that forgetting about the reward was as good as ignorance. Further, Clarke had no expectation interest when he gave information to fulfill conditions of contract. The court ruled further than not only was a contract not formed, but Clarke had not fulfilled the terms of the contract as the reward stated a reward for "such information as shall lead to the arrest and conviction of the persons" and the arrests took place before the information was given.
- One cannot accept an offer one doesn't know exists, or that one has forgotten exists.
- One needs an expectation or reliance interest in the reward in order for that reward to be recoverable.