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   Case summaries      R v Fitzpatrick

R v Fitzpatrick [1977] NI 20

The appellant voluntarily joined the IRA. He later wished to leave but was threatened. He claimed he was forced to take part in robberies. He was denied the defence of duress

Lowry LCJ

“If a person voluntarily exposes and submits himself, as the appellant did, to illegal compulsion, he cannot rely on the duress to which he has voluntarily exposed himself as an excuse either in respect of the crimes he commits against his will or in respect of his continued but unwilling association with those capable of exercising upon him the duress which he calls in aid."
Back to lecture outline on the defence of duress in criminal law