Duress by Threats

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1. In the case of Hassan

  • Can use the defence of intoxication, eg if threatened by a man with a gun
  • If the threat was not reasonably expected to be carried out immediately or almost immediately then there was little room for doubt that the defendant could have taken evasive action by going to the police
  • All crimes except murder, attempted murder and possibly treason
  • Age, pregnancy, serious physical disability, recognised mental illness or psychiatric disorder, sex - iQ can not be considered
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2. The threats must be of death or serious injury, lesser threats do not provide a defence - however provided there are serious threats then the cumulative effect of the threats can be considered as decided in the case of

  • Another person threatens the defendant with serious violence unless the defendant commits an offence
  • Valderrama-Vega - the defendant illegally imported cocaine, he claimed he did this because of death threats and threats to disclose his homosexuality and financial pressures
  • Can use the defence of intoxication, eg if threatened by a man with a gun
  • Age, pregnancy, serious physical disability, recognised mental illness or psychiatric disorder, sex - iQ can not be considered

3. If there is no mistake, and the duress is independant of the intoxication, then the defendant

  • Can use the defence of intoxication, eg if threatened by a man with a gun
  • Age, pregnancy, serious physical disability, recognised mental illness or psychiatric disorder, sex - iQ can not be considered
  • All crimes except murder, attempted murder and possibly treason
  • Another person threatens the defendant with serious violence unless the defendant commits an offence

4. Duress can only be used as a defence if the defendant is placed in a situation where he has no safe avenue of escape - from the case of

  • Can use the defence of intoxication, eg if threatened by a man with a gun
  • Age, pregnancy, serious physical disability, recognised mental illness or psychiatric disorder, sex - iQ can not be considered
  • Gill where the defendant claimed he and his wife had been threatened unless he stole a lorry, however there was a period of time where he was left alone and could have found help
  • All crimes except murder, attempted murder and possibly treason

5. The threat must be effective at the moment the crime is committed, but this does not mean that the threats need to be able to be carried out immediatley - this is from the case of

  • Age, pregnancy, serious physical disability, recognised mental illness or psychiatric disorder, sex - iQ can not be considered
  • Can use the defence of intoxication, eg if threatened by a man with a gun
  • Hudson and Taylor, where two girls lied on oath, and the threat could not be carried out immediatley
  • Another person threatens the defendant with serious violence unless the defendant commits an offence

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