Published: Wed, 07 Mar 2018
R v Hasan  2 AC 467; R v Z  UKHL 22
Criminal law – Defence of Duress – Association with known criminal – Whether statement was a confession
Hasan was charged with the crime of aggravated burglary. He was associated with a gang and relied on the defence of duress, pleading that he was blackmailed into committing the burglary to prevent his family from being harmed.
Whether the defence of duress was available to Hasan and whether his statement to the police when arrested was admissible evidence under s 76 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (the Act) and deemed to be a confession.
The court held that the defence of duress was unavailable for Hasan because of his voluntary gang association and as such, he should have foreseen or ought to have foreseen the risk of being subjected to compulsion to commit criminal offences. While he may not have foreseen that he would be compelled to commit a burglary, his association with the gang and other persons with a tendency to commit unlawful acts was enough to exclude the defence. Further, the court found that his confession (argued by the defence to be inadmissible evidence contrary to s 76 of the Act, was initially intended to be neutral on the face of it. However, its contents became damaging at trial when it was clear that it was inconsistent with the defence of duress Hasan was relying on. Therefore, it was admissible evidence under s 76(1) of the Act. The appeal was allowed and the conviction upheld.
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