Regina v Norbury: 1 Mar 1977

(Norwich Crown Court) Between July 1972 and November 1976, 494 women resident in Norfolk reported to the police a total of 605 obscene telephone calls from the defendant. The offence would normally be a summary offence with a maximum of andpound;50.00 fine. He was indicted for causing a public nuisance, an indictable offence for which there was no maximum penalty. His counsel moved to quash the indictment. The judge rejected the argument: ‘It seems to me, dealing with the present indictment, that repetition, over a long period and on a number of occasions of telephone calls of an obscene nature, intending to cause offence and alarm and resulting in such offence and alarm to a large number of Her Majesty’s subjects selected from a telephone directory, or merely by chance dialling, is the very kind of act, and, indeed the very kind of series of acts, which the public has an interest in condemning and has a right to vindicate.’


His Honour Judge Beezley


(1978) CLR 435


Post Office Act 1969 78


England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedRegina v Johnson CACD 14-May-1996
The defendant had used public telephones to cause nuisance, annoyance, harassment, alarm and distress. He had made hundreds of obscene telephone calls to at least 13 women, and was convicted of causing a public nuisance. He argued that no call . .
DoubtedRegina v Rimmington; Regina v Goldstein HL 21-Jul-2005
Common Law – Public Nuisance – Extent
The House considered the elements of the common law offence of public nuisance. One defendant faced accusations of having sent racially offensive materials to individuals. The second was accused of sending an envelope including salt to a friend as a . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 26 November 2022; Ref: scu.188883