The defendants had protested against the activities of a shop, by trespassing. They were said to have committed the offence of aggravated trespass under section 68 of the 1994 Act. They objected in part that this infringed their article 10 right of free speech.
Held: The postulated offences all were either not demonstrated to have been committed by the occupants of the shop at the time of the defendants’ trespass or were at most collateral to the core activity of selling rather than integral to that activity. The occupants of the shop were, accordingly, engaged in the lawful activity of retail selling at the time and section 68(2) provided no defence to the defendants.
The article 10 claim also failed. Article 10 does not confer a licence to trespass on other people’s property in order to give voice to one’s views.
Lord Hughes spoke abot section 68 of the 1994 Act: ‘The intention of the section is plainly to add the sanction of the criminal law to a trespass where, in addition to the defendant invading the property of someone else where he is not entitled to be, he there disrupts an activity which the occupant is entitled to pursue. Section 68(2) therefore must mean that the additional criminal sanction is removed when the activity which is disrupted is, in itself, unlawful, which may be either because the occupant is himself trespassing, or because his activity is criminal. Mr Southey’s realistic concession is correct, for not every incidental or collateral criminal offence can properly be said to affect the lawfulness of the activity, nor to render it criminal. It will do so only when the criminal offence is integral to the core activity carried on. It will not do so when there is some incidental or collateral offence, which is remote from the activity. The decisions in Hibberd and Nelder are both consistent with this approach. The certified question ought thus to be answered ‘Yes’.’
Lady Hale, Deputy President, Lord Kerr, Lord Hughes, Lord Toulson, Lord Hodge
 UKSC 8,  1 Cr App R 29,  2 WLR 288,  1 AC 635,  WLR(D) 52,  Crim LR 817,  2 All ER 20, UKSC 2012/0198
Bailii, Bailii Summary, WLRD, SC Summary, SC
Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 68, European Convention on Human Rights 10
England and Wales
Appeal from – Nero and Another v Director of Public Prosecutions Admn 29-Mar-2012
Parties appealed against convictions for aggravated trespass under the 1994 Act arising from trespassing demonstrations. They argued that the lawfulness of the activity being carried out on the land subject to the trespass is an ingredient in the . .
Cited – Regina v Jones (Margaret), Regina v Milling and others HL 29-Mar-2006
Domestic Offence requires Domestic Defence
Each defendant sought to raise by way of defence of their otherwise criminal actions, the fact that they were attempting to prevent the commission by the government of the crime of waging an aggressive war in Iraq, and that their acts were . .
Cited – Ayliffe and others v Director of Public Prosecutions Admn 21-Apr-2005
The case concerned actions taken at military bases by way of protest against the Iraq war. Each raised questions arising from the prosecution of the appellants for offences of aggravated trespass. The defendants asserted, among other things, that . .
Cited – Hibberd v Director of Public Prosecutions Admn 27-Nov-1996
The defendant trespasser set out to stop the clearance of land for the construction of a new by-pass. He gave evidence that one or more of the tree-fellers was using a chainsaw but not wearing gloves and suggested that that raised the real . .
Cited – Nelder and Others v Crown Prosecution Service Admn 3-Jun-1998
Hunt saboteurs set out to disrupt a hunt, and were accused of offences of aggravated trespass under the 1994 Act. They defended saying that they had been prevening unlawful activities. They brought evidence that at the outset of the hunt, two . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Updated: 29 November 2021; Ref: scu.521158