QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION
2 Redcliff St, Bristol BS1 6GR
Judgment handed down at:
Rolls House, 7 Rolls Buildings,
Holborn, London EC4A 7NL
B e f o r e :
| JOHN PEGRAM
- and -
DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS
Benjamin Douglas-Jones QC (instructed by Crown Prosecution Service Appeals and Review Unit) for the Respondent
Hearing date: 8th October 2019
Crown Copyright ©
The Hon Mr Justice Kerr:
(1) Whether, on the facts found in the Crown Court, PC Millett was acting in the execution of his duty when taking hold of the defendant;
(2) whether, upon the evidence before the Crown Court, a prima facie case of self-defence was raised and, if so, whether the Crown Court erred in law (a) by not considering self-defence or (b) by dismissing the appeal; and
(3) whether the approach adopted in the Crown Court at page 80E-F in the transcript of the appeal proceedings constituted or involved a misdirection of law as to character.
Q. So you're continuing to hold on to his arm even after the point at which it's clear you have got his attention, is that fair?
A. It's really a split second but yes.
Q. I would suggest Officer that your purpose in holding his arm wasn't just to get his attention to make yourself known to him but also to make sure he stayed there and listened to what you had to say.
A. it may well have been but it was more, my decision making was to get his attention, if I held on to him to say it then it was more to just keep him in the place to listen to what I had to say.
Q. There was an element, wasn't there, of hold on to him [while] you're saying it so that he doesn't just ignore you because he had been ignoring the police to an extent, hadn't he?
A. It was a very short amount of time, half way through a public warning however long that is.
Relevant Law: Execution of Duty
a police officer has his rights as a citizen, as well as his duties as a policeman. A police officer may wish to engage a man's attention, for example if he wishes to question him. If he lays his hand on the man's sleeve or taps his shoulder for that purpose, he commits no wrong. He may even do so more than once; for he is under a duty to prevent and investigate crime, and so his seeking further, in the exercise of that duty, to engage a man's attention in order to speak to him may in the circumstances be regarded as acceptable: see Donnelly v. Jackman  1 W.L.R. 562. But if, taking into account the nature of his duty, his use of physical contact in the face of non-co-operation persists beyond generally acceptable standards of conduct, his action will become unlawful; and if a police officer restrains a man, for example by gripping his arm or his shoulder, then his action will also be unlawful, unless he is lawfully exercising his power of arrest.
it is for the tribunal of fact to decide whether the physical contact goes beyond what is acceptable by the ordinary standards of everyday life if the period of contact had gone on for any length of time it might well be said to be a finding of fact, to which no reasonable court would come, to say that there was not an intention to detain.
In such a case (see page 8):
.. the real question is whether the taking by the arm lasted longer than could reasonably be said to be merely for the purpose of trying to attract his attention .
Where the duration of gripping the arm is "very brief", it may be open to the tribunal of fact to find that (page 8):
"it was solely an attempt to draw his attention to what was being said".
Submissions, Reasoning and Conclusions
The first question: whether PC Millett was acting in the execution of his duty
The second question: self-defence
The third question: character evidence