Crime CLXXXV-Criminal Damage XXV

In R v Fiak (2005) the defendant was sitting in a parked car outside his house, following an argument with his wife. He was approached by police officers who suspected him of being in charge of a vehicle while he was drunk, the defendant had been drinking prior to the incident.

The defendant resisted, and a police officer was injured in the scuffle that followed. The defendant was arrested and taken to a cell and while in the cell, he flooded the cell by putting a blanket down the toilet and repeatedly flushing. The defendant was charged with criminal damage and the defense argued that no criminal damage had occurred because the cell floor was waterproof.

The defendant was convicted. His conviction was on the grounds that while the cell floor was waterproof and may not have sustained any long-term damage, the toilet and the blanket on the other hand had been damaged. Following the decision in Morphitis v Salmon (1990), it was clear that the value of the items had been reduced and the defendant’s actions had impaired their usefulness.

Copyright © 2018 by Dyarne Ward

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