Buswell, Regina v: CACD 1972

The defendant was accused of possession of drugs. The drugs in question had been medically prescribed by the defendant’s doctor. After he had taken them home he genuinely thought that they had been accidentally destroyed by his mother when washing his jeans. Thereafter he discovered them still in his bedroom drawer where later still they were found by the police.
Held: The appeal was allowed. The possession once lawful, remained lawful. Phillimore LJ said: ‘If you have got it in your custody and you put it in some safe place and then forget that you have got it, and discover a year or two later, when you happen to look into that particular receptacle that it is still there, it seems to this court idle to suggest that during those two years it has not been in your possession. It has been there under your hand and control. There is no limbo into which the article can go if recollection dims.’

Phillimore LJ
[1972] 1 WLR 64
England and Wales
Cited by:
Not CitedRegina v Martindale CACD 1986
Possession does not depend upon the alleged possessor’s powers of memory. Nor does possession come and go as memory revives or fails. ‘In the judgment of this court [that the argument that lack of memory or knowledge negatives possession is . .
CitedJolie v Regina CACD 23-May-2003
The appellant had been convicted of having a pointed article with him in a public place. He said that the car he was driving had needed an instrument to operate the lock. At first he had used a knife, but then used scissors, losing the knife in the . .
CitedBayliss, Regina (on the Application of) v Director of Public Prosecutions Admn 6-Feb-2003
The defendant was arrested in Tescos. On being searched he was found to have a lock knife. He had placed it in his belt and forgotten about it. He appealed conviction saying it had not been shown that he knew he still had the knife.
Held: . .
CitedMcCalla, Regina v CACD 1988
A cosh had been found in the glove compartment of the appellant’s car. He said he had picked it up a month earlier, had put it away and had forgotten about it.
Held: The court reviewed the authorities on what constituted possession. Once . .
CitedAtkins v Director of Public Prosecutions; Goodland v Director of Public Prosecutions Admn 8-Mar-2000
For possession of an indecent image of a child to be proved, it was necessary to establish some knowledge of its existence. Images stored without the defendant’s knowledge by browser software in a hidden cache, of which he was also unaware, were not . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Leading Case

Updated: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.182748