Regina v Farell: 1862

References: (1862) 9 Cox CC 446
Ratio: (Court of Criminal Appeal in Ireland) The defendant exposed himself on a public road so that he was seen by one person as there was only one person passing at the time, though he could have been seen by others who might have been passing.
Held: Indecent exposure seen by one person and capable of being seen by one person only was not an offence. The Chief Justice giving the judgment of the court said in quashing the conviction: ‘but it is not to be taken that we lay it down that if the prisoner was seen by but one person, but there was evidence that others might have witnessed the offence at the time, we would not uphold the conviction; but in this case there is no evidence that anyone could have seen the prisoner but one female. Therefore all we say is, that an exposure seen by one person only is not an offence at common law. If there had been others in such a situation that they could have seen the prisoner, there would have been a criminal offence’.
Jurisdiction: England and Wales
This case is cited by:

  • Cited – Hamilton, Regina v CACD (Bailii, [2007] EWCA Crim 2062, Times 16-Oct-07)
    The defendant appealed his conviction for outraging public decency. He had surreptitously filmed up the skirts of women in a supermarket. The offence was only discovered after the films were found on a search of his home for other material. The . .

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Last Update: 15 June 2020
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