Urquhart v HM Advocate

Criminal law – Threatening or abusive behaviour – Availability of defence of self-defence – Burden of proof. High Court of Justiciary: Refusing an appeal against conviction, the court held that a sheriff did not misdirect the jury when he told them that the special defence of self-defence had no relevance to a charge of behaving in a threatening or abusive manner under s 38(1) of the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010; s 38(2) did not impose a legal burden on an accused as opposed to an evidential one and the sheriff did misdirect the jury on that matter; however, as the appellant's behaviour could not, on any view, be characterised as having been reasonable, notwithstanding the misdirection there had been no miscarriage of justice.

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