Duress by Threats

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1. Duress by threats is where

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

3. The threat must be imminent, and operating on the defendant's mind when he commits the offence

  • Abdul-Hussain, the defendant's hijacked a plane to escape from persecution in iraq
  • 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
  • Can use the defence of intoxication, eg if threatened by a man with a gun

4. 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
  • All crimes except murder, attempted murder and possibly treason
  • Another person threatens the defendant with serious violence unless the defendant commits an offence
  • Age, pregnancy, serious physical disability, recognised mental illness or psychiatric disorder, sex - iQ can not be considered

5. If police protection is possible then the defendant can not rely on duress, however as in the case of ________ police protection may not always be available

  • Hudson and Taylor - where two girls lied under oath because of threats to cut them up
  • 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
  • Another person threatens the defendant with serious violence unless the defendant commits an offence

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