Castle v Director of Public Prosecutions: Admn 12 Mar 1998

Appeal by case stated from conviction of possession of firearms (air rifles) within five years of release from prison. The court was asked as to whether they were ‘lethal’
Held: The appeal failed: ‘ the Justices were entitled to reach the conclusions they did on the evidence before them. They were entitled to do that in the absence of specific evidence as to the effect of firing a pellet from these specific rifles. There was evidence that the rifles were fired and were operating normally as air rifles. It is against that background and, having regard to his employment, that Mr Lowe made the recommendation that they were suitable for use as target rifles and field hunting rifles for shooting small vermin respectively. Upon that evidence, the Justices were entitled to conclude, as they did, that an air rifle which was both capable of killing small vermin, or making an impression on a target could cause injury from which death might result if fired at point blank range at a vulnerable point of the body. Mr Lowe knew that the rifles were designed for that purpose. There was unchallenged evidence that he would sell them for that purpose. In those circumstances, there does not, in my judgment, have to be evidence of the observed effect upon a target or upon an animal to establish that the rifles were lethal within the meaning of the section. ‘


[1998] EWHC Admin 309




Firearms Act 1968 21(2)


England and Wales


CitedRegina v Moore and Gooderham 1960
The court was asked whether a firearm was ‘lethal’.
Held: Lord Parker CJ stated: ‘I think that the Justices were fully entitled to give the word lethal the sense that the injury must be of a kind which may cause death. That is the ordinary . .
CitedGrace v Director of Public Prosecutions QBD 1989
The court was asked whether an air rifle amounted to a ‘lethal’ weapon.
Held: Allowing the appeal and quashing the convictions, Auld J said that: ‘the test applied by the justices as to what constituted a firearm within section 57(1) was . .
CitedRegina v Hill CACD 1993
The court was asked whether the prosecution had established that the substance involved in the case was the drug mentioned in the charge.
Held: Waterhouse J stated: ‘ . . the prosecution must establish the identity of the drug that is the . .
CitedElliott v Chief Constable of Wiltshire and Others ChD 20-Nov-1996
Vice-Chancellor was asked to consider whether to strike out a statement of claim based upon alleged misfeasance by a police officer in his public office. The allegation against the police officer was that he had deliberately and falsely supplied . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Crime, Criminal Evidence

Updated: 27 May 2022; Ref: scu.138430