Trespass to Persons

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The case is a civil offense known as trespass. Trespass relates to an event where one party infringes the rights of another party without any lawful justification. John commits a criminal offense when he drives and parks his car on Richard’s land diagonally rather than in the agreed straight manner. In return, Richard commits an offence by building a barricade wall to enclose John’s vehicle. John commits a wrong as he destroyed the wall without Richard or court’s consent without to remove his car.

Trespassing is a criminal offense registered under Section 1 of the Criminal Damage Act 1971 (Strickland, 2014, p.2) and jurisprudence from the Winfield, and Jolowicz Torts notes on the civil law since there are variations in legal justifications to trespass.

Damage by trespassing: John showcased nuisance by driving and parking his car across Richard’s garden. Also, John purportedly destroyed Richard’s wall to let his car out. According to Section 1 of the Criminal Damage Act, John does not have the lawful excuse concerning destruction, damage or reckless handling of someone’s property thus considered a criminal act. In this case, John violated Section 1 of the Criminal Damage Act on two scenarios: trespassing without legal excuse and damage to private property (Strickland, 2014, p.2).

Richard can sue John for trespass of land and subsequent destruction of the wall. Also, he can seek a court injunction to bar John from accessing his land.

Based on the doctrine of assumption, Richard is not liable for compensation on the destruction of the wall by John as he knew of the risks involved and he assumed them. The defense that is applicable relates to the fact that the defendant interfered with the private property to protect his interest. Private inevitability does not assist as an absolute defense in accountability for trespass. Even though the defendant has to pay for any harm caused, he is not liable to pay for the insignificant or castigatory damages relating to the destructed wall.

Scenario 2:  Laura and Vincent

The primary potential criminal offense relates to cohabitation which is not recognized under the UK law (Fairbairn, 2018, p.5). The second possible criminal offense relates to stalking and harassment. Also, Laura has committed a possible crime of harassing her boyfriend which results with him feeling anxious and distressed. Also, Laura violated Vincent’s privacy law and decided to snoop through his e-mail, messages and Facebook account.

Laura and Vincent do not possess a Cohabitation Living Together Agreement

which under Common Law on Torts is considered illegal though not criminal (Fairbairn, 2018, p.5).  The Protection of Freedom Act 2012 which defines stalking, Protection from Harassment Act 1997 (CPS, 2018; House of Common Library, 2017, p.4), and Privacy Act UK (UK Legal Guide, 2018).

Cohabitation Rights: Laura and Vincent decided to live together without any formal agreement such as a deed. The UK law does not legally recognize cohabitation under the Common Law of Marriage, and this may bring up issues later on in the living together situation (Fairbairn, 2018, p.5). Given the fact that they are dating and are not bound by any form of agreement, Laura infringes on Vincent’s privacy by monitoring him to confirm he is not seeing other ladies.

Privacy: Laura violated the privacy laws as far as Vincent is concerned about going through his phone, email and Facebook account. According to the Privacy Act, Principle 1, personal data must be processed fairly and lawfully meaning that personal information can only be obtained under specified and lawful purposes (UK Legal Guide, 2018). As such, Laura provoked a criminal offense by violating individual rights of Vincent by snooping through his private property for her interests (Principle 7).

Stalking: Protection of Freedom Act 2012 clearly states that stalking (2A and 4A) is punishable. Laura was secretly following, watching and spying on her boyfriend to find out more about his whereabouts. Under the law, her actions are prosecutable under Section 2A (3) which list down the psychological behavior of a stalker which Laura fits.

Harassment: Harassment is defined as causing personal distress or alarming the other party. Laura, under Section 2 of Protection from Harassment Act 1997 (CPS, 2018; House of Common Library, 2017, p. 4) violated the law by distressing Vincent about his humanity, his friendship and his ability to impress other women all for her selfish gains.

Vincent can seek a court injunction to stop Laura from infringing his privacy rights. In defense, Laura can plead innocent by underlining the fact that she did not intend to do any harm while stalking or harassing Vincent.

Scenario 3: Donny and Gemma

Potential criminal offences relate to trespass to persons.

Gemma interferes with Donny’s right to consume alcohol as she decides to fist-fight him which lands him on the bannister leading to having a deep cut on his face. Unaware of her intentions, Donny retaliates as he sees Gemma approaching with an object he perceives to be a knife by pushing her away leading to her injuries and subsequent end to her ability to walk again. The Criminal Law Act 1967, section 3(1) and Offences Against the Person Act 1861, argue for the existence of self-defense if a person is attacked.  

Self-Defence: Donny pushed Gemma away from him when he saw her with a ‘knife.’ The act is known as self-defense which is legally bound by English Law (McPherson 2015). Section 3 (1) of the Criminal Law Act 1967 decrees that a person who uses reasonable strength in situations of preventing crime or any effect on them from an offender is legal. In interpretation, Gemma committed a criminal offense by hurting Donny which in turn, prompted Donny to protect himself from a charging Gemma. In the case of People v. King, 1978. It was held liable that in the event of another person threatens the life of another; self-defense is not considered to be an offense (JUSTIA US Law, 2018).

Grievous Bodily Harm: Gemma’s tussle with Donny resulted in her fall through the staircase and incidentally caused severe bodily harm and her hospitalization. Conferring to Section 20 and Section 18 of Offences Against the Person Act 1861, which carries maximum sentences, indicates that Donny instigated bodily harm to Gemma by throwing her on the stairs. Also, Donny intended to cause damage to Gemma by throwing her off his head which he knew there were stairs behind him, though this is arguably under self-defense (McPherson 2015).

Gemma can sue for compensation given the magnitude of the force Donny used to push her down the stairs that caused her to be paralyzed, never to walk again.

In defense, Donny can argue that he used a reasonable amount of force to ward of Gemma from her intent to kill Donny using something that looked like a knife (McPherson 2015). Also, he can contend that his intention was merely for self-defense rather than causing bodily harm to Gemma.

Scenario 4: Jack and Simon

The potential criminal offense relates to trespass on goods and property. Jack and Simon’s actions led to damage of assets and properties of other people.

 Criminal Damage Act 1971, chapter 48 and Children and Young Persons Act 1933.

Intent to Start Fire: according to the Children and Young Persons Act 1933, criminal responsibility among children and young person in the UK is different with the most appropriate age for committing an offense being at above ten years of age. Jack (12 years) and Simon (13 years) are criminally liable for the intent to start the fire without quelling it when they needed.

Trespass to goods: the children’s act of starting a fire with no intention of controlling its spread is a criminal offense as it interfered with other people’s properties. Chapter 48 of the Criminal Damage Act 1971, states that the intent to start the fire without any legal jurisdiction is termed as arson. Section 48 states that a person with any lawful excuse to start a fire and resultant damage or destruction of property belonging to a third party or another party is criminally liable for the destruction or damage to the property.

Jack and Simon can be sued for negligence having known the effects of lighting fire without the intention of controlling it.

In defense, the two boys can underline the fact that they lacked the intent to willfully and maliciously start the fire which led to arson. Hence they did not aim at causing harm to a person or cause structural damages. 

Scenario 5: Wayne and Ben

The criminal offense relates to trespass to persons as underlined by assault and battery that are emphasized by threat and spitting on Ben’s face respectively.

The criminal law on such acts is the Criminal Justice Act 1988 under Section 39 defined as battery and Protection from Harassment Act 1997.

Criminal Intent - Assault: Wayne intended harm on Ben by raising his fists in the air to threaten Ben. The intention violates the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 (CPS, 2018) which reiterates that a person causing an alarm to another person is determined as harassment (House of Common Library, 2017, p. 4). Wayne instigated bullying on the elderly which can warrant two or more years in prison. Also, Wayne violated the criminal law on the Criminal Justice Act 1988 under assault (Gray and Co. Solicitors, 2018).

Battery: In the Criminal Justice Act, section 39 states that a person who willingly spits or intends to spit on one’s face is legally bound on criminal charges.

Ben can sue Wayne for interfering with his rights without justification.  

In defense, Wayne can argue he was not mentally fit at the time due the rage and anger he harbored which led to his actions.


Children and Young Persons Act 1933. Chapter 12, 23 and 24. UK Constitution. Accessed 8th

November 2018.

CPS. 2018. Stalking and Harassment. The Crown Prosecution Service. Accessed 8th

November 2018.

Fairbairn, Catherine. 2018. “Common Law Marriage” and Cohabitation. UK Parliament. 1-27. Pdf.

House of Common Library. (2017). The Protection from Harassment Act 1997. No. 6648. 1-10.

JUSTIA US Law, 2018. People v. King. [Online]

Available at:

[Accessed 3 December 2018].

McPherson, R.M., 2015. Access to justice: women who kill, self-defense and pre-trial decision making (Doctoral dissertation, Glasgow Caledonian University).

Strickland, Pat. 2014. Trespass to Land. House of Common Library. 1-4. Pdf.

UK Legal Guide. 2018. Privacy-Data Protection. Accessed 8th November 2018.

Gray and Co. Solicitors. 2018. Section 20 Assault and Section 18 Assault- Grievous Bodily Harm. UK Law. Accessed 8th November 2018. 


December 12, 2023

Crime Law

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