R v Renard skeleton argument (respondent)

In the Supreme Court

R v Renard

Senior counsel for the respondent:

The foxes were not within the meaning of property for the purposes of the Criminal Damage Act 1971.

  • The foxes which had been trapped may have amounted to property as wild animals that had been captured. If this was the case, lawful excuse was not available as they must have belonged to the person who trapped them. As a person is entitled to destroy his own property, lawful excuse cannot be used to defend a person who interferes with this entitlement.
  • The foxes that had not been trapped could not amount to property as they were still entirely free thus could not be regarded as being in the process of reduced to possession.

Section 10(1) Criminal Damage Act 1971

Cresswell and Currie v DPP [2006] EWHC 3379 (Admin)

Smith and Hogan: Criminal Law, 13th edition, p. 802

Junior counsel for the respondent:

Despite the emphasis on subjectivity in s 5(3) of the Criminal Damage Act 1971, case law has established that there is an objective element to lawful excuse based upon the protection of property.

  • The proper construction of s 5(2)(b) of the Criminal Damage Act 1971 supports the application of an objective assessment.

R v Hunt (1978) 66 Cr App R 105

  1. This objective assessment can be applied to the immediacy of the threat or to the issue of whether the property was destroyed or damaged in order to protect other property.

R v Hill and Hall (1989) 89 Cr App R 74

R v Ashford and Smith [1988] Crim LR 682


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