Chahal v Director of Public Prosecutions: Admn 24 Feb 2010

The defendant appealed against his conviction for possession of a bladed article. He had used the knife at work and forgotten to leave it at work and had it in his pocket by accident.
Held: The appeal succeeded. The defendant had been accepted as a truthful witness, and ‘In my judgment that is a broad factual test for the tribunal of fact, providing it bears in mind that forgetfulness, without some other good reason to support it, will not, of itself, entitle the accused to the benefit of the defence. The defendant needs to go further and demonstrate what the reason was for the knife being where it was.’ and ‘the justices here appear to have been misled into thinking that the casual nature of the appellant’s work deprived him of good reason without more, when the real question was whether the appellant had genuinely had a good reason for having the knife, and had then genuinely forgotten about it; and that in so far as he had the article with him when recollection was restored he still had a good reason for having it with him.’

Laws LJ, McCombe J
[2010] EWHC 439 (Admin), [2010] 2 Cr App R 5, [2010] ACD 42
Criminal Justice Act 1988 139
England and Wales
CitedDirector of Public Prosecutions v Gregson QBD 23-Sep-1992
A knife fell from the defendant’s jeans during the course of a police search. He claimed to have forgotten about it.
Held: It is important to concentrate on the time in respect of which the defendant is charged. Six days earlier he had the . .
CitedRegina v Manning CACD 22-Oct-1997
The defendant had been in possession of a knife which he said that he had used to fix his car radiator and then put in his pocket. As to the statutory defence the trial judge had directed the jury that ‘just forgetfulness on its own was no reason.’ . .
CitedRegina v Bown (Mark) CACD 23-Jun-2003
The defendant was charged with having in his possession a locked blade. His defence was that he had good reason, relying upon the explanation given at the police station. The judge withdrew the defence from the jury. He appealed, saying the judge . .
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 . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 11 November 2021; Ref: scu.406629