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Flashcards in Criminal Damage Deck (21):
1

Samuels v Stubbs

Ratio: Whether property is damaged is a question of fact and degree. Damage includes injury, mischief, or harm done to property. Damage does not necessarily need to render the property useless or prevent it from serving its normal function.

2

A (a juvenile) v R

Ratio: For damage to be constituted, there must be some expense on behalf of the owner to restore the property to its previous condition.

Facts: Spitting on a policeman’s coat was held not to be criminal damage.

3

Hardman v Chief Constable of Avon

Ratio: Damage doesn’t have to be permanent.

Facts: Defendant had painted on pavements as part of a CND demonstration. Local authority employed a graffiti squad to deal with it, even though it would have been washed away by the rain. Held to be damage since money, time and effort had been spent to restore the pavement to its original state.

4

Roe v Kingerlee

Ratio: Damage will be constituted if there is expense in rectifying it.

Facts: Mud was smeared on the walls of a police cell and it cost £7 to remove. This was held to be damage.

5

Morphitis v Salmon

Ratio: Criminal damage includes not only permanent or temporary physical harm but also permanent or temporary impairment of value or usefulness.

6

Fiak

Ratio: Criminal damage includes not only permanent or temporary physical harm but also permanent or temporary impairment of value or usefulness.

Facts: Defendant stuffed his blanket down the toilet in his prison cell and repeatedly flushed it, causing the cell to flood. Although the floor was waterproof and the damage washable, this constituted damage because both were rendered temporarily useless.

7

R v Whitely

Information is not property.

8

R v Maloney

Intention is to be given its ordinary meaning.

9

R v G

To prove recklessness the prosecution must prove that:
• At the time of committing the AR, the accused was subjectively aware of the risk; and
• In the circumstances known to him, it was objectively unreasonable for the accused to take that risk.

10

R v Smith

Ratio: It is insufficient that D does an act that damages property intentionally, it must also be proved that he knew, or was reckless as to whether, the property belonged to another.
Ignorance of civil law can prevent liability.

Facts: Smith had installed electrical wiring to connect a stereo system and with his landlord’s permission, he put down floorboards, wall panels and roofing material. When Smith decided to vacate the flat, he asked the landlord if his brother, who had been living with him, could remain and he declined. Smith then smashed up everything he had installed, allegedly to remove the wiring he had fitted. Court of Appeal quashed his conviction since he believed he was damaging his own property.

11

Jaggard v Dickinson

Ratio: An individual will be entitled to the defence under the CDA 1971, s 5(2)(a) irrespective of whether the belief was reasonable, even if it arises from intoxication.

Facts: Dickinson broke a window in the drunken belief that the house was that of a friend with whom she was staying and that he would want her to sleep inside the house even though she could not get access through the front door.

12

R v Denton

Ratio: For the purposes of CDA 1971, s 5(2)(a) the defendant’s motive for causing the damage is irrelevant, even where the motive is to perpetrate a fraud.

Facts: Owner of a factory in financial difficulties had apparently said to the defendant: ‘There is nothing like a good fire for improving the financial circumstances of a business’. D took this as an instruction to set fire to the factory, which he did. On appeal his conviction was quashed as the Court held he was entitled to CDA 1971, s 5(2)(a) as a defence.

13

Blake v DPP

Ratio: God cannot consent to criminal damage.
For CDA 1971, s 5(2)(b) to be used, the damage cause by the accused must be (objectively) capable of damaging the property.

Facts: During a demonstration protecting about the use of military force by the allies in Iraq and Kuwait, the defendant used a marker pen to write a biblical quotation on a concrete pillar at the Houses of Parliament. He appealed against his conviction for criminal damage, claiming that he was carrying out the instructions of God and God had consented. This was dismissed.

14

R v Baker & Wilkins

Ratio: CDA 1971, s 5(2)(b) only relates to the protection of property.

Facts: A mother who kicked open a door to rescue her child from a perceived threat by her estranged husband was not allowed to raise the CDA 1971 s 5(2)(b) defence because a child is not property.

15

Johnson v DPP

Ratio: For CDA 1971, s 5(2)(b) to be used the accused must believe that the property was in immediate need of protection (subjective test).

Facts: Johnson, a squatter in a council house, damaged a door while attempting to fit lock in the house. He was charged with criminal damage and raised this defence on the basis that there had recently been a lot of thefts in the area and so he needed to protect his property. Court held that this did not demonstrate a belief that his property was in immediate need of protection.

16

R v Hunt

Ratio: For CDA 1971, s 5(2)(b) to be used, the damage cause by the accused must be (objectively) capable of damaging the property.

Facts: To demonstrate the inadequacy of the fire alarms in a block of flats, Mr Hunt started a fire in a bedroom in a deserted part of the block. He then pressed the fire alarm which did not work. Court held that these actions were not objectively capable of protecting the property.

17

R v Hill and Hall

Ratio: For CDA 1971, s 5(2)(b) to be used, the damage cause by the accused must be (objectively) capable of damaging the property.

Facts: The accused was arrested outside a nuclear submarine base in possession of a hacksaw blade which she intended to use to cut through the wire. She was charged under CDA 1971, s 3 and unsuccessfully raised the defence under CDA 1971, s 5(2)(b) that she was acting in order to persuade the Americans to leave the base. The court held that cutting the wire was far too remote from the eventual aim of protecting the property to satisfy the test.

18

R v Sangha

Ratio: When determining whether the AR/MR of Aggravated Criminal Damage has been made out, it is irrelevant whether the life of another was actually endangered.

Facts: Mr Sangha set fire to some furniture in a flat. There was no danger to the occupants since they were not present at the time and there was no danger to the occupants of adjacent flats because of the construction of the building.

19

R v Dudley

Ratio: When determining whether the AR/MR of Aggravated Criminal Damage has been made out, it is irrelevant whether the life of another was actually endangered.

Facts: Dudley threw a fire bomb at a family’s house against whom he had a grievance. The fire bomb was extinguished and only trivial damage was caused. D argued that because the damaged caused was not great he could not have been reckless as to endangering life. Court of Appeal disagreed and asserted that ‘destruction or damage’ refers to the destruction or damage intended or as to which there was recklessness, not to the destruction or damage actually caused’.

20

R v Steer

Ratio: For aggravated criminal damage, the danger to life must arise from the damaged property.

Facts: The defendant fired three shots through a window. This did not constitute Aggravated Criminal Damage because any risk to life intended or foreseen had been by the bullets fired and not by the damage to property.

21

R v Webster

Ratio: For aggravated criminal damage, the danger to life must arise from the damaged property.
If the damage is caused by fire, the risk to life will always be from the damaged property.


Facts: Defendants had pushed a stone from a bridge onto a train which hit a carriage, showering passengers with debris from the roof. Conviction had been based on a direction that intent to endanger life by the stone falling on a passenger would suffice. The Court substituted a conviction based on recklessness.