Sheldrake v Director of Public Prosecutions: Admn 24 Feb 2003

The defendant challenged the application of the section, under which he was deemed to have intended to drive a vehicle whilst under the influence of alcohol, unless he could prove it was not his intent to drive, saying this infringed his right to a fair trial.
Held: The section must be read down to comply with the Convention. The burden to be placed on a defendant was the evidential burden only, and not the legal burden. Once he raised the issue, and pointed to some evidence that there was no likelihood of his driving, the burden of proving there was some real risk of him driving must fall on the prosecution. It was not necessary to impose the legal burden of proof on the defendant.


Lord Justice Clarke Mr Justice Henriques Mr Justice Jack


Times 25-Feb-2003, [2003] EWHC 273 (Admin), Gazette 03-Apr-2003, [2004] QB 487




European Convention on Human Rights 6.2, Road Traffic Act 1988 5(8)

Cited by:

CitedAttorney General’s Reference No 4 of 2002 CACD 21-Mar-2003
The defendant had been tried for an offence under the Act of being a member of a proscribed organisation, and professing membership of Hamas. At trial the Crown accepted an evidential burden, that the offence had to be read down to comply with the . .
Appeal fromSheldrake v Director of Public Prosecutions; Attorney General’s Reference No 4 of 2002 HL 14-Oct-2004
Appeals were brought complaining as to the apparent reversal of the burden of proof in road traffic cases and in cases under the Terrorism Acts. Was a legal or an evidential burden placed on a defendant?
Held: Lord Bingham of Cornhill said: . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Crime, Human Rights, Road Traffic

Updated: 07 June 2022; Ref: scu.179573