Duress of Circumstances

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1. The defendant was found by police lying in bed with a loaded sub-machine gun and said he had it because a 'geezer who was going to do some people some damage with it'

  • b) if so would a sober person of reasonable firmness, sharing the characteristics of the defendant have acted in the same way
  • Conway, where a passenger in D's car had been shot at a few weeks earlier, when D saw two men run towards the car he drove away recklessly
  • Pommell - a failure to go to the police straight away prevented him from having any defence
  • Willer where the defendant drove on the pavement to get away from a gang, and was charged with reckless driving - no one told him specifically to drive on the pavement
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2. In the case of Pommell it was seen that

  • Duress of Circumstances could be a defence to all crimes except murder, attempted murder and some treason
  • Conway, where a passenger in D's car had been shot at a few weeks earlier, when D saw two men run towards the car he drove away recklessly
  • Willer where the defendant drove on the pavement to get away from a gang, and was charged with reckless driving - no one told him specifically to drive on the pavement
  • b) if so would a sober person of reasonable firmness, sharing the characteristics of the defendant have acted in the same way

3. The difference between Duress of Threats and Duress of Cricumstances is shown in the case of

  • Pommell - a failure to go to the police straight away prevented him from having any defence
  • Conway, where a passenger in D's car had been shot at a few weeks earlier, when D saw two men run towards the car he drove away recklessly
  • Willer where the defendant drove on the pavement to get away from a gang, and was charged with reckless driving - no one told him specifically to drive on the pavement
  • Duress of Circumstances could be a defence to all crimes except murder, attempted murder and some treason

4. The defence of Duress of Circumstances is available if on an objective standpoint, the defendant was acting in order to avoid a threat of death or serious injury - this was decided in the case of

  • Conway, where a passenger in D's car had been shot at a few weeks earlier, when D saw two men run towards the car he drove away recklessly
  • Duress of Circumstances could be a defence to all crimes except murder, attempted murder and some treason
  • Pommell - a failure to go to the police straight away prevented him from having any defence
  • Willer where the defendant drove on the pavement to get away from a gang, and was charged with reckless driving - no one told him specifically to drive on the pavement

5. The Graham test applies to Duress of Circumstances, this was decided in the case of

  • Duress of Circumstances could be a defence to all crimes except murder, attempted murder and some treason
  • Martin, where the defendant's wife threatened suicide unless D drove disqualified (to drive her son to work as he was late)
  • Conway, where a passenger in D's car had been shot at a few weeks earlier, when D saw two men run towards the car he drove away recklessly
  • Pommell - a failure to go to the police straight away prevented him from having any defence

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