Crime CXXIII – Self Defense XIII

The defense of self-defense will not avail itself to the defendant if the defendant is the aggressor or has provoked the response or the attack. In R v Keene (2010) the defendant was out drinking.

At his last stop, he met the victim who offered to give him a lift. On their way home the victim pulled over to get some petrol and the defendant got into an argument with another passenger in the car, who was smoking, telling her not to smoke.

The argument got heated and the victim intervened. The defendant thought that the victim was about to attack and preemptively struck the victim, hitting him with a closed fist.

The victim fell to the ground and his head hit the pavement resulting in serious head injuries. The defendant was charged and he contended that his actions were in self-defense.

The trial judge directed the jury to the effect that the defense of self-defense will not avail itself to the defendant if the defendant was the aggressor or he provoked the attack and the jury accordingly convicted the defendant for inflicting grievous bodily harm. The defendant appealed.

The appeal was dismissed and it was held that when the defendant is the aggressor or perpetrator, or has provoked the attack, the defense of self-defense will not avail itself to the defendant unless the victim reacted in a manner that was so out of the ordinary or so out of proportion that it put the defendant in immediate fear of his or her life.

Copyright © 2018 by Dyarne Ward

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