Cases

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CHEESEMAN v BERRIMAN

-town polices Act 1987

-Cheeseman lewd behaviour

-lurking policeman were not considered as passengers as they were not 'passing through'

-Cheeseman was found not guilty as the policeman were not passers by, therefore committed no offence

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LNER v BERRIMAN (1946)

  • Berriman was killed by a train whilst oiling the track and was not provided with a look out man
  • Widow tried claiming compensation
  • failed as those who are 'repairing' or 'relaying' the track could old be provided with a look out
  • oiling = maintaining
  • not entitled to compensation
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WHITLEY v CHAPPELL

  • A statute made it an offence to 'impersonate any person entitled to vote'
  • Defendant used the vote of a dead man
  • found not guilty - a dead person is not entitled to vote

LITERAL RULE

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R v ALLEN

  • Defendant was charged with bigamy
  • -
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RE SIGSWORTH (1935)

A son had murdered his mother
He was her 'issue' therefore entitled to her ineheritence
Court decided to use the golden rule as the literal rule would lead to a repugnant decision
He was entitled to nothing

GOLDEN RULE

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ADLER v GEORGE (1964)

Official Secrets Act 1920 it was an offence to obstruct a member of the armed forces 'in the vicinity' of a prohibited palace.
The defendant was actually in the prohibited place, rather than 'in the vicinity' of it, at the time of obstruction.

Held:

The court applied the golden rule. It would be absurd for a person to be liable if they were near to a prohibited place and not if they were actually in it. His conviction was therefore upheld.

GOLDEN RULE

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SMITH v HUGHES (1960)

The defendants were prostitutes who had been charged under the Street Offences Act 1959 which made it an offence to solicit in a public place. The prostitutes were soliciting from private premises in windows or on balconies so could be seen by the public.

Held:

The court applied the mischief rule holding that the activities of the defendants were within the mischief the Act was aimed at even though under a literal interpretation they would be in a private place.

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CORKERY v CARPENTER

The defendant was riding his bicycle whilst under the influence of alcohol. S.12 of the Licensing Act 1872 made it an offence to be drunk in charge of a 'carriage' on the highway.

Held:

The court applied the mischief rule holding that a riding a bicycle was within the mischief of the Act as the defendant represented a danger to himself and other road users.

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DPP v BULL (1991)

A man was charged with an offence under s.1(1) of the Street Offences Act 1959 which makes it an offence for a 'common prostitute to loiter or solicit in a public street or public place for the purposes of prostitution'. The magistrates found him not guilty on the grounds that 'common prostitute' only related to females and not males. The prosecution appealed by way of case stated.

The court held that the Act did only apply to females. The word prostitute was ambiguous and they applied the mischief rule. The Street Offences Act was introduced as a result of the work of the Wolfenden Report into homosexuality and prostitution. The Report only referred to female prostitution and did not mention male prostitutes. The QBD therefore held the mischief the Act was aimed at was controlling the behaviour of only female prostitutes.

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