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Rex V. Flight-Lieut. Austin Robert Quinn (1944) LJR-WACA

Rex V. Flight-Lieut. Austin Robert Quinn (1944)

LawGlobal Hub Judgment Report – West African Court of Appeal

Gambia Criminal Code, section 230 (b)—Charge of obstructing police in execution of duty—Entering premises, without search warrant, to investigate—Request to leave—Defence (Protected Places and Areas) Rules, 1941, rule 3 (1) (b)—Police Ordinance, 1916, section 3 (1) (b).

Facts

A police officer, on receiving a report that a member of the R.A.F. had committed suicide, went to the camp at Bathurst and was admitted by the corporal on duty. Before finishing his investigation, he was noticed by the Defendant, who asked him to wait while he telephoned for instructions and later told him to leave the camp. The Defendant was convicted of obstructing the officer in the execution of his duty, and appealed.

Held

that (1) as the officer went to the camp on lawful business and was lawfully admitted, he was not a trespasser ab initio ;
(2) as he had no search warrant in his hands, he became a trespasser after defendant told him to leave and was therefore no longer acting in the execution of his duty with the result that defendant could not be guilty of obstructing him therein.
Semble : (a) Rule 3 (1) (b) of the Defence (Protected Places and Areas) Rides does not confer on the police any right to enter premises they do not oridinarily possess ;
(b) Section 3 (1) (b) of the Police Ordinance, 1918, does not confer on the police an absolute right to enter without search warrant for purpose of investigating crime.

See also  Abba V. Koom Assan II & Ors (1934) LJR-WACA

The fine, if paid, must be refunded.

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