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Booth v Crown Prosecution Service [2006] EWHC 192 Divisional Court of the QBD

The appellant had been drinking and had smoked cannabis. He described himself as tipsy but not completely unaware of events around him. He saw someone over the other side of the road and shouted to them. He then ran across the road without looking. A car was approaching at the time and did not have time to stop. The appellant managed to avoid being struck by jumping onto the bonnet of the car causing £517 worth of damage. He was convicted of criminal damage by the magistrates and brought a case stated appeal arguing the magistrates had applied an objective test to recklessness as they found that the damage caused by his act was "an obviously foreseeable consequence". They also found the appellant "would have appreciated" the risk of damage to the vehicle by his actions and "he deliberately closed his mind completely to the risks and ran out in front of a motorcar."


Held:

His conviction for criminal damage was upheld.

The magistrates were entitled to find that if he was aware of the risk of a collision, inherent in that risk of a collision was not only the risk of personal injury but the risk of damage to property. The use of the words "would have appreciated" was unfortunate but the Magistrates had made a clear finding of fact that the appellant did appreciate the risk. The use of deliberately closing his mind to risks demonstrates he was aware of the risks to be able to close his mind to the risks.
 
Back to lecture outline on criminal damage in Criminal Law