Crime CLXXXII-Criminal Damage XXII

If the damage that was done did not reduce the value of the property that was damaged in any way, shape or form than the damage may not be considered or regarded as criminal damage or fall within the scope or ambit of criminal damage.

In Morphitis v Salmon (1990), a scaffold pole was used to block an access road. It was scratched and it was held that the scratch did not amount to criminal damage because it did not reduce the value of the scaffold pole or impair its usefulness in any way. Its value remained intact, as did its usefulness. However if the usefulness of the scaffold pole had been impaired i.e. if it was no longer an effective roadblock, than the actions of the defendant may amount to criminal damage.

Likewise if the item that was scratched was a car, than it might be construed as criminal damage because it reduces the value of the car.

The two factors below will be taken into consideration:-

1) Reduction in value

2) Impairment of usefulness

before it is decided whether the defendant’s actions amounted to criminal damage or otherwise.

Copyright © 2018 by Dyarne Ward

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