Self-Defence and Prevention of Crime
- Defence of oneself
- "another person
- Prevention of crime (Criminal Law Act)
Can be used for all offences, = acquittal if successful.
Prevention of Crime- S3(1) Criminal Law Act- a person can use force to prevent crime or assisting a lawful arrest.
D must be acting to prevent a crime (DPP v Bayer)
1). Was it necessary to use force? AND
2). Was the force used reasonable?
Self-Defence and Prevention of Crime 2
- Was the threat imminent? D will only be justified in reacting to an imminent threat, although this does not mean he has to wait to be attacked.
Beckford- (Lord Griffiths)- 'a man about to be attacked does not need to wait for his assailant to strike the first blow or fire the first shot- the circumstances may justify a preemptive strike'.
AG's Reg (No 2 of 1983)- D feared attack so made petrol bombs.
Malnik v DPP- Had created a dangerous situation, there was no imminent threat.
Rashford- Even if D is the initial aggressor in a fight, he can still rely on self-defence if the other party responds with disproportionate force.
- Should D have retreated?
McInnes- The Court of Appeal said that a person is not obliged to retreat but it may be evidence.
Bird- It is not necessary to show a reluctance to fight, there are circumstances where D might react immediately without first retreating.
Self-Defence and Prevention of Crime 3
- Did D honestly believe that his action was justified?
William (Gladstone)- D will be judged on the basis of what he thought was happening (ie mistaken honest belief), rather than on the basis of what is actually happening.
2). (objective). -Beckford, Bird, Palmer- a person defending himself cannot weigh up to a nicety the measure of his ….defensive action.
Cross v Kirby- Disabling force can be justified if there could be further attack.
Clegg- Force used was excessive
Martin- Shooting V in the back to protect property was NOT reasonable force.
Hussain- Force used in retaliation/revenge will not be reasonable.
Self defence with Intoxication
O'Grady- A drunken mistake will never be reasonable.