A2 Law: Cases - Defence of Duress

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A Levels Law A2 (Cases) Flashcards on A2 Law: Cases - Defence of Duress , created by Jessica 'JessieB on 04/30/2014.
Jessica 'JessieB
Flashcards by Jessica 'JessieB, updated more than 1 year ago
Jessica 'JessieB
Created by Jessica 'JessieB about 10 years ago
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Resource summary

Question Answer
Case Outcome: Defence only available if the D commits an offence of a type specified/nominated by the person making the threat - Cole 1994. The defendant robbed building societies to repay a debt; his family were threatened if he didn't repay it. His robbery conviction was upheld as the people who threatened didn't say "rob a building society or else."
Case Outcome: Duress of circumstances - Willer (1986) The defendant and passenger were in a car which got surrounded by youths who were threatening them. They drove on the pavement to get away. The COA allowed the appeal and the defence was available.
Case Outcome: Duress of circumstances - Conway (1988) The defendant drove at a high speed to escape what he believed to be two men who were about to attack his passenger. His conviction was quashed as the defence was available.
Case Outcome: Duress of circumstances - Pommell (1995) The defendant was found with an unlicensed firearm under his pillow during a police raid during the night. He claimed he removed the gun from a man during the night and he was going to hand it in the next morning. The courts said that the defence should be allowed to be considered and so a re-trial was ordered.
Case Outcome: There must be a threat of death or serious injury - Hudson & Taylor (1971) The treat must be of death or serious violence as seen in this case, where the defendants were told if they didn't like in courts then they'd get cut up later.
Case Outcome: There must be a threat of death or serious injury - Lynch v DPP (1975) A threat to damage property or destroy it isn't sufficient for the defence. Lord Simon said "... the law draws a line between threats to property and threats to the person."
Case Facts: There must be a threat of death or serious injury - Valderamma-Vega (1985) The defendant was importing cocaine and was threatened that his homosexuality would be exposed to his wife if he didn't repay off his debts.
Case Outcome: There must be a threat of death or serious injury - Valderamma-Vega (1985) The trial judge said the defence was only available where the death threats were the sole reason that made him do the crime. The COA quashed conviction and disagreed, stating that the defence can be considered where the threats have accumulated but if there has been no threat of death or serious injury, then the other treats won't be enough for the defence.
Case Outcome: The threat may be made to the defendant or to others - Ortiz (1986) The defendant was told to help smuggle cocaine otherwise his family would disappear. The defence was allowed.
Case Outcome: The threat may be made to the defendant or to others - Wright (2000) A threat was made to the defendant's boyfriend but the T.J said the defence wasn't available as the boyfriend wasn't "sufficiently proximate" and the threat had to have been made towards a member of immediate family. The COA stated that the T.J was wrong and the defence was allowed.
Case Outcome: The threat may be made to the defendant or to others - Shayler (2001) The courts said that a threat can be made in relation to complete strangers.
Case Outcome: The threat must be immediate - Hudson v Taylor (1971) The judge said the defence was unavailable as the threat couldn't be put into effect immediately. The COA said the threat was hanging over them at the time of the crime and so it was allowed.
Case Facts: The threat may be made to the defendant or to others - Abdul-Hussain (1999) The defendants fled from Iraq to Sudan to escape punishment and execution. They hijacked a plane and landed in the UK as they feared they would get deported back if they went to Sudan. They were charged with Hijacking.
Case Facts: The threat may be made to the defendant or to others - Abdul-Hussain (1999) The T.J said the defence isn't available as the danger had to be "close and immediate as to give rise to a virtually spontaneous reaction." Their appeal was allowed as the T.J should have directed the jury to consider immediacy. The courts said the threat must be imminent but this doesn't mean immediate.
Case Outcome: The threat may be made to the defendant or to others - Hasan (2005) This case overruled Abdul-Hussain and said that the defendant must believe the threat to be immediate or almost immediate.
Case Facts: The defence not allowed if the defendant had an opportunity to escape or seek police protection - Gill (1963) The defendant claimed he and his wife had received violent threats if he didn't steal a lorry.
Case Outcome: The defence not allowed if the defendant had an opportunity to escape or seek police protection - Gill (1963) The COA questioned whether the defence would be available as he had time to inform the police.
Case Outcome: The defence not allowed if the defendant had an opportunity to escape or seek police protection - Pommell (1995) The COA said a delay of a few hours isn't excessive, but seeing as the defendant was going to give the gun to the police, the defence was available.
Case Outcome: The defence not allowed if the defendant had an opportunity to escape or seek police protection - Hudson & Taylor (1971) The courts have taken a flexible approach as it is understandable that sometimes the police are unable to provide effective protection. In this case, their appeal was allowed as the police might not have provided effective protection after their jury service against later reprisals.
Case Facts: The defence isn't available where a defendant voluntarily engages in criminal association - Sharp (1987) The defendant and two other men attempted to rob a post office which resulted in the death of the postmaster. He argued he only took part in the robbery because he was threatened.
Case Outcome: The defence isn't available where a defendant voluntarily engages in criminal association - Sharp (1987) Lord Lane said where a person voluntarily engages in criminal activity with the understanding of the nature of the gang, then the defence isn't available. The defendant's conviction was upheld.
Case Outcome: The defence isn't available where a defendant voluntarily engages in criminal association - Shepherd (1987) The defendant joined a shoplifting gang. He was threatened with violence when he tried to leave the gang. The courts said he couldn't have reasonably foreseen such threats if he no longer wanted to continue in the gang. The defence might be available if the defendant joined a criminal gang but didn't know in advance that the gang had a propensity to violence.
Case Facts: Associating with people with a propensity for violence might mean the unavailability of the defence - Ali (Mumtaz) (1995) The defendant was a drug addict and a dealer. He sold heroin and he was allowed to keep some for his own use. He needed more and more and then used up all his supply. He couldn't afford to pay his supplier and carried out a robbery to repay him.
Case Outcome: Associating with people with a propensity for violence might mean the unavailability of the defence - Ali (Mumtaz) (1995) The defence wasn't available because he got himself into a group that involved criminal activity and violence.
Case Outcome: Associating with people with a propensity for violence might mean the unavailability of the defence - Heath (2000) and Harmer (2002) Both defendants were charged with drug offences and the defence was denied to them both. This was because they were indebted to their dealers and were threatened with violence if they didn't commit crimes. The COA said they both knew the connotations that come with the drug-related world and so they put themselves voluntarily in that position.
Case Outcome: Associating with people with a propensity for violence might mean the unavailability of the defence - Hasan (2005) The driver of a prostitute was threatened by her violent boyfriend to carry out a burglary. The defence wasn't allowed as he had voluntarily exposed himself to threats of violence.
Case Facts: Associating with people with a propensity for violence might mean the unavailability of the defence - Ali (2008) During a test drive, the defendant forced the salesman out of the car with a knife and drove off in the car.
Case Outcome: Associating with people with a propensity for violence might mean the unavailability of the defence - Ali (2008) The defendant tried to claim he was threatened to do the robbery but his plea for the defence was rejected as the defendant was friends for many years with the person in question, and so knew of this person's violent nature. The COA agreed and added "if a defendant voluntarily put himself in a position where he foresaw or reasonably ought to have foreseen the risk of being subjected to any compulsion by threats of violence, then the defence isn't available.
Case Facts: The two part test to determine whether the defendant had acted under duress or not - Graham (1982) The defendant was in a love triangle with his wife and his lover. His lover was jealous of his wife, so he put a cord around her neck and asked Graham to pull it. The wife died.
Case Outcome: The two part test to determine whether the defendant had acted under duress or not - Graham (1982) His murder conviction was upheld as he failed the second limb of the test: 1) SUBJECTIVE TEST - Was the defendant compelled to act as a result of what he reasonably believed had been said or done? Did he have a good cause to fear that if he didn't act, it would result in death or serious injury to him or another? 2) OBJECTIVE TEST - Would a sober person of reasonable firmness sharing the same characteristics as the D have responded in the same way to the threats?
Case Outcome: Subjective Part of the Graham Tests; "reasonable belief" - Safi & Others (2004) A group of hijackers where threatened by a Taliban. The courts said that although the defendant's perception is important, the belief must be reasonable. The courts will decide if there is a genuine belief and then they'll decide if that belief is objectively reasonable.
Case Outcome: Objective Part of the Graham Tests; "same characteristics" - Bowen (1996) The defendant was a 68 year old man with A low I.Q and he claimed he was forces to carry put five counts of obtaining property by deception. His I.Q. was held not to be a relevant characteristic. The courts said: Age, pregnancy, serious physical disability, recognised medical illnesses and gender are relevant characteristics. Also in this case, the court held that self-imposed characteristics like drugs, alcohol won't count.
Case Outcome: Duress unavailable for murder - Howe (1987) The defendant took part in two killings; the first as a secondary participant and the second the main offender. The HOL made it clear that duress is not available to murder or a secondary participant to murder.
Case Outcome: Duress unavailable for murder - Wilson (2007) The COA confirmed the HOL ruling in the case of Howe despite the defendant being only 13. His father threatened him with violence if he didn't murder their neighbour using several weapons.
Case Outcome: Duress unavailable for attempted murder - Gotts (1992) The defendant was 16 and his father threatened him with violence if he didn't kill his mother. He stabbed his mother and Gotts was convicted of attempted murder. The defence was denied.
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