Regina v Phekoo: CACD 1981

The defendant was charged with doing acts calculated to interfere with the peace and comfort of residential occupiers so as to cause them to give up their occupation contrary to section 1(3)(a) of the 1977 Act. The defendant contended that he did not know that the person harassed was a residential occupier, and that accordingly he could not be liable unless the prosecution proved that he did.
Held: The appeal succeeded. Once the issue was raised, it was necessary for the Crown to prove that the defendant did not honestly believe that the victim was a residential occupier. A prosecutor under section 1(3) of the 1977 Act must establish that the defendant did not honestly believe that the person harassed was not a residential occupier.


[1981] 1 WLR 1117, [1981] 3 All ER 1117


Protection from Eviction Act 1977 1(3)


England and Wales


LimitedRegina v Morgan HL 30-Apr-1975
The defendants appealed against their convictions for rape, denying mens rea and asserting a belief (even if mistaken) that the victim had consented.
Held: For a defence of mistake to succeed, the mistake must have been honestly made and need . .
CitedNorton v Knowles 1969
The court made the distinction between a mistaken belief as to the facts and a mistaken belief as to the law, pointing out that the latter ‘is, of course, not relevant or available as a ‘defence”. . .

Cited by:

Dicta doubtedRegina v Kimber CACD 1983
For mens rea, it is the defendant’s belief, not the grounds on which it is based, which goes to negative the intent. The guilty state of mind was the intent to use personal violence to a woman without her consent. If the defendant did not so intend, . .
CitedB (A Minor) v Director of Public Prosecutions HL 23-Feb-2000
Prosecution to prove absence of genuine belief
To convict a defendant under the 1960 Act, the prosecution had the burden of proving the absence of a genuine belief in the defendant’s mind that the victim was 14 or over. The Act itself said nothing about any mental element, so the assumption must . .
CitedWest Wiltshire District Council v Snelgrove and Snelgrove Admn 17-Mar-1997
The council appealed against the acquittal of the defendants of offences under the 1977 Act. The occupiers were there under an informal temporary tenancy. The owners wished to move back in. The tenants had not left on the day appointed and on the . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 06 May 2022; Ref: scu.195979