Case Studies: Defences in Criminal Law 1

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  • Case Studies: Defences in Criminal Law 1
    • Honest Mistake
      • R v Tolson (1889)
        • Appellant married in Sept 1880
        • 6 years later she remarried, 11 months later husband turned up
        • Dec 1881: Husband went missing, told he had been on ship lost at sea
        • Held: she was afforded defence of mistake as it was reasonable to believe her husband was dead
        • Charged with offence of bigomy
      • DPP v Morgan (1976)
        • He told them she would be consenting, but would protest to enhance her sexual arousal
        • Drinking with fellow officer in RAF, invited them back to his house to have sex with his wife
        • Wife made it clear she was not consenting and sustained physical injuries
        • 3 appellants convicted of ****
        • Judge directed jury: D's belief in consent had to be reasonably held
        • Held: the belief must be genuine and honest. No requirement that the belief was reasonable. Convictions upheld
        • Convicted of **** and appealed that belief need not be reasonably held
    • Mistake of Fact
      • Beckford v The Queen (1988)
        • Convicted of murder. Appealed contending judge was wrong to direct jury that the mistake must be reasonably held
        • Held: appeal allowed and conviction quashed. Self-defence
        • No gun ever found. Trial directed jury: man attacked when he believes his life to be in danger may use such force as on reasonable grounds he thinks necessary in order to resist the attack and if using such force he kills the assailant he is not guilty of any crime
        • Appellant said that on arrival, he saw man with what looked like gun. Appellant stated Barnes fired at police, so he fired back, killing him
        • Appellant was armed police man where it was alleged that V (Chester Barnes) was terrorising his mother with a gun
    • Duress
      • Z (2005)
        • Self-induced duress
      • Howe (1987)
      • Gotts (1992)
      • Objective Test
        • Flatt (1996)
          • According to appellant, supplier told him to look after some drugs otherwise he'd shoot his mother, grandmother and girlfriend
          • Appellant was drug addict, indebted to his supplier
          • Convicted of possession with intent to supply. Appealed contending that in assessing whether a person of reasonable firmness would have acted as he did, his characteristics of being a drug addict should have been considered
          • Held: appeal dismissed and conviction upheld. Drug addiction= self-induced condition not characteristic

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