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R v Scarlett [1993] 98 Cr App 290 Court of Appeal

The appellant was a publican. He ejected a drunken customer from his pub. The customer fell, hit his head and died. The appellant was convicted of manslaughter and appealed.


Appeal allowed his conviction quashed. There was insufficient evidence to demonstrate that the appellant had used excessive force and thus no unlawful act had been established.

Beldam LJ:

"If the mental element necessary to prove an assault is an intention to apply unlawful force to the victim, and the accused is to be judged according to his mistaken view of the facts, whether that mistake was on an objective view reasonable or not, we can see no logical basis for distinguishing between a person who objectively is not justified in using force, but mistakenly believes that the circumstances call for a degree of force objectively regarded as unnecessary."

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