Procurator Fiscal, Peterhead v Elrick

Criminal law and procedure – Vandalism – Defence of reasonable excuse – Jointly owned property. Sheriff Court: In a case in which a woman charged with vandalising a vehicle belonging to another argued that the inference from the agreed facts was that she was under the honest but mistaken belief that, as at the date libelled, she and her estranged husband remained the joint owners of the vehicle, which provided a defence to the charge, the court held that the facts were capable of yielding another inference, namely that the accused believed her husband was the sole owner of the vehicle, which was enough for her submission of no case to answer to be repelled, and in any event it was not correct to say that a person was entitled, with impunity, to damage or destroy jointly owned property.

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