Davis v Lisle: CA 1936

Two police officers, one in plain clothes and the other in uniform, passed by a lorry causing an obstruction in the highway outside a garage. Two men were repairing it. Some minutes later they returned and saw that the lorry had been moved into the garage. They entered the garage to enquire as to the person responsible for the obstruction. The appellant then entered the garage from the street, pushing past PC Rose and saying: ‘What’s this? What do you want here?’; to which P.C. Rose replied: ‘My colleague is a police constable. May we see the person in charge of this vehicle?’ The appellant then in abusive and obscene language said: ‘Get outside – you can’t come here without a search warrant.’ The respondent was in the act of producing his warrant card when the appellant rushed at him and struck him. He was convicted of assaulting and obstructing a police officer in the execution of his duty.
Held: Both convictions were quashed. A permission given to enter private property may be revoked, making the visitor a trespasser who is under a duty to leave. The act of producing his warrant card was an assertiion by the officer of a right to remain on the premises, which right he did not have. Therefore he could not be acting in the execution of his duty, having hesitated and not leaving promptly when told to leave.
Goddard J held that although the officers, in entering the premises, were not trespassers, they became so as soon as they were told to leave and claimed a right to stay. From that time they were acting other than in the execution of their duty.
Lord Hewart CJ held that by the act of producing his warrant card, the respondent was asserting a right to remain on the premises, which right he did not have.

Lord Hewart CJ, Goddard J
[1936] 2 KB 434, [1936] 2 All ER 213
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedWayne Fullard, Ryan Roalfe, Regina (on the Application Of) v Woking Magistrates’ Court Admn 16-Nov-2005
The defendants challenged convictions for assaulting police officers acting in the course of their duty. They said the officers were not so acting. The first defendant had been stopped in a vehicle which had left the scene of an accident. At the . .
CitedBlench v Director of Public Prosecutions Admn 5-Nov-2004
The defendant appealed against his conviction for assaulting a police officer in the execution of his duty under section 89. He had argued that he had no case to answer. The officers had received an emergency call to the house, but the female caller . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Police, Torts – Other

Leading Case

Updated: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.241690