Robson v Hallett: CA 1967

A police officer had been impliedly invited onto land, and was asked to leave, but was then assaulted before he had chance to leave.
Held: The conviction was upheld.
There is an implied licence available to members of the public on lawful business to approach the front door of a house and seek entry. The occupier will not however be heard to say that while he or she had neither done nor said anything to negate or revoke any such licence, it should not be implied because subjectively he or she had not intended to give it
Where an unwanted visitor who presents himself at the front door, is asked in but then told to go, he must leave immediately, taking the quickest route back to the highway and not delaying. His period of grace may be measured in minutes
Lord Parker CJ: ‘It seems to me that when a licence is revoked as a result of which something has to be done by the licensee, a reasonable time must be implied in which he can do so, in this case to get off the premises; no doubt it will be a very short time, but he was doing here his best to leave the premises.’
Diplock LJ: `When a householder lives in a dwelling house to which there is a garden in front and does not lock the gate of the garden, it gives an implied licence to any member of the public who has lawful reason for doing so to proceed from the gate to the front door or back door and to inquire whether he may be admitted and to conduct his lawful business’. And ‘The points are so simple that the combined researches of counsel have not revealed any authority upon them. There is no authority because no one has thought it plausible up till now to question them.’ and ‘the sergeant had a reasonable time to leave the premises by the most appropriate route for doing so, namely, out of the front door, down the steps and out of the gate, and, provided that he did so with reasonable expedition, he would not be a trespasser while he was so doing.’


Diplock LJ, Lord Parker CJ


[1967] 2 QB 939, [1967] 2 All ER 407, (1967) 51 Cr App R 30, [1967] 3 WLR 28


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 . .
CitedMcConnell v Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police CA 1990
The plaintiff sought damages from the police. She had gone into a store and refused to leave when so requested. The police officer escorted her from the premises. She tried to re-enter the premises, and the officer exercised his common law right to . .
MentionedHumberside Police v McQuade CA 12-Jul-2001
Defendant’s appeal against an order giving judgment for the claimant in the action for damages to be assessed for wrongful arrest and personal injury. The claimant had been arrested in his home, purportedly for a breach of the peace. There was no . .
CitedGibson v Douglas and Another CA 8-Dec-2016
Appeal against rejection of claim for damages for wrongful eviction and damages to goods.
Held: The judge had found not that the defendant had failed to give appropriate notice, but that he had not been personally involved other than as an . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Land, Crime

Updated: 01 April 2022; Ref: scu.241688