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Duress and Necessity

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Duress is defence that is used when a person is forced to commit a crime because his close friends or family are under a threat of serious physical harm or even death. It must involve an immediate threat of an unavoidable situation. If it is a situation in which he would have to time to report the offence then he will not be able to use duress as a defence. However any other threat of any kind is insufficient which shows this in SINGH [1973]. Duress is a general defence but however not for all crimes for example isn't available for someone who voluntarily and with knowledge, joins a criminal gang, organisation or conspiracy, knowing of their criminal activities and that there is a risk of them pressurizing him into committing them. ...read more.


This happened in SHARP [1987], SHEPHERD [1988] and ALI [1995]. Bob was held under circumstances were his immediate family was threatened to be killed by a gang of thieves if he didn't give the criminals the code to the safe; he did this to avoid the circumstance. Bob could use duress as his defence as he was in an unavoidable situation and problem; he had to give a code to the thieves to stop them killing his family which is a crime but he was under threat. Necessity is similar to duress as the defendant has to commit a crime to avoid threatening circumstances the only difference is that it is the situation or set of circumstances which causes a threatening harm. ...read more.


Pauline stole a bulldozer and bulldozed the house of Mrs Ethel Maywin because their was a fire in the street and to break the chain she had to do this. If the firebreak was not made the whole street would have been up in flames and burned down. Pauline was therefore charged with criminal damage because of her acts but using necessity as a defence may not be able to be used in this case as it is hard to use necessity as a defence as Lord Denning shown in the cases above it can only be used in certain situations. ?? ?? ?? ?? Module three - Assignment one - Task two Katherine Pettett Centre No. 27218 ...read more.

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