He may still arm himself for his own protection, if the exigency arises, although in so doing he may commit other offences. That he may be guilty of other offences will avoid the risk of anarchy contemplated by the Reference. It is also to be noted that although a person may "make" a petrol bomb with a lawful object, nevertheless, if he remains in possession of it after the threat has passed which made his object lawful, it may cease to be so. It will only be very rarely that circumstances will exist where the manufacture or possession of petrol bombs can be for a lawful object.
For these reasons the point of law referred by Her Majesty's Attorney General for the consideration of this Court is answered by saying: The defence of lawful object is available to a defendant against whom a charge under section 4 of the Act of 1883 has been preferred, if he can satisfy the jury on balance of probabilities that his object was to protect himself or his family or his property against imminent apprehended attack and to do so by means which he believed were no more than reasonably necessary to meet the force used by the attackers.
zebedee wrote:Presumably, therefore, the old saying that an Englishman's home is his castle is completely unsupported in law, if it ever was at all, and we are well and truly stuffed if we try and apply that notion to deal with intruders.
dls wrote:And also understand that a 1984 case predates all the current, and much more widely framed, terrorist offences.
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