QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION
B e f o r e :
MR JUSTICE FULFORD
|DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS||(APPELLANT)|
WordWave International Limited
A Merrill Communications Company
190 Fleet Street London EC4A 2AG
Tel No: 020 7404 1400 Fax No: 020 7831 8838
(Official Shorthand Writers to the Court)
MR J HOUSE (instructed by Cartwright King) appeared on behalf of the RESPONDENT
Crown Copyright ©
MR JUSTICE FULFORD:
"Were the justices entitled to conclude that the prosecution had failed to establish the respondent had not been acting under duress?"
"(i) Whether the respondent was impelled to act as she did as a result of holding a reasonable belief of an imminent threat of serious physical harm?
(ii) Whether from an objective viewpoint, the threat ceased to exist prior to the respondent being required to stop by the police?"
"We were satisfied that:
(i) the respondent genuinely feared imminent serious violence and that she formed the view that driving was necessary to escape that threat;
(ii) that fear remained with her throughout the journey.
(iii) that it would not be reasonable to expect a woman and her daughter in pyjamas and dressing gowns to seek refuge at 3am from a stranger, albeit a police officer.
We found that the prosecution failed to prove that the respondent was not acting under duress. We acquitted the respondent of driving a vehicle having consumed alcohol in excess of the prescribed limit."
Analysis and Conclusions
"If the defence of necessity is to form a valid and consistent part of our criminal law it must, as has been universally recognised, be strictly controlled and scrupulously limited to situations that correspond to its underlying rationale."