Fagan V Met Police

Powerful Essays
Topics: Automobile
DIVISIONAL COURT

FAGAN v METROPOLITAN POLICE COMMISSIONER [1969] 1 QB 439

July 31 1968

Full text

Case stated

FACTS The appellant drove the vehicle in PC David Morris’s direction and stopped the vehicle with its front off-side wheel on David Morris’s left foot. David Morris said to the appellant, ‘Get off, you are on my foot!’ The appellant’s driving window was open. The appellant said ‘Fuck you, you can wait.’ The appellant then turned off the ignition. David Morris then said to the appellant several times, ‘Get off my foot!’ The appellant then said very reluctantly, ‘Okay, man, okay.’ The appellant thereafter very slowly turned on the ignition and reversed the vehicle off David Morris’s foot.

James J:

… The sole question is whether the prosecution proved facts which in law amounted to an assault … The justices … were left in doubt whether the mounting of the wheel on to the officer’s foot was deliberate or accidental. They were satisfied, however, beyond all reasonable doubt that the appellant ‘knowingly, provocatively and unnecessarily’ allowed the wheel to remain on the foot after the officer said ‘Get off, you are on my foot’. They found that, on these facts, an assault was proved.

… It is argued that … there was no act on the part of the appellant which could constitute an actus reus, but only the omission or failure to remove the wheel as soon as he was asked. That failure, it is said, could not in law be an assault, nor could it in law provide the necessary mens rea to convert the original act of mounting the foot into an assault. Counsel for the respondent argues that the first mounting of the foot was an actus reus, which act continued until the moment of time at which the wheel was removed. During that continuing act, it is said, the appellant formed the necessary intention to constitute the element of mens rea and, once that element was added to the continuing act, an assault took place …

In our judgment … an assault is any act

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