Woman found guilty of brandishing broken bottle in ‘self defence’ wins ‘reasonable excuse’ appeal

Lady Paton
Lady Paton

of or fear of future violence would not constitute a reasonable excuse. However matters would be different where a person took possession of a weapon during an incident where he or she was under attack, for the purpose of preventing or discouraging further violence.

“It was pointed out to us that the jury manual was based more on the circumstances in Grieve v McLeod, whereas in the circumstances of the present case a more flexible approach was necessary as it was for the jury to decide whom to believe and whom to disbelieve, and at least one of the versions of events which was put before the jury in the course of the trial suggested that the appellant, when under attack and in extremis, had come into possession of the bottle and used it solely to attempt to prevent further attack.

“For these reasons the advocate depute conceded that there had been a misdirection; that the jury had not been able to form their own view about the evidence which they had heard; and that a miscarriage of justice may have occurred. In the particular circumstances of this case, we agree with the submissions advanced by the advocate depute. We note that the jury manual may require some further refinement. In all the circumstances, we shall allow the appeal and quash the conviction on charge 4.”

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