Harrison v Hill

Judgment Date22 October 1931
Date22 October 1931
Docket NumberNo.3.
CourtHigh Court of Justiciary


Lord Justice. General. Lord Sands. Lord Blackburn.


Statutory Offences—Motor Car Acts—Driving motor vehicle on a road while disqualified for licence— "Road to which the public has access"mdash;Private approach to farm used by members of the public—Roads and Streets—Road Traffic Act, 1930 (20 and 21 Geo. V. capENR. 43), secs. 7 (4) and 121 (1).

The Road Traffic Act, 1930, by sec. 7 (4), renders liable to certain penalties any person who, while disqualified under the provisions of Part I. of the Act for holding a driving licence, drives a motor vehicle on a "road." Sec. 121 (1) of the Act defines "road" as "any highway and any other road to which the public has access…"

The driver of a motor vehicle was convicted of an offence under sec. 7 (4) of the Act, on the ground that, while disqualified for holding a driving licence, he had driven his vehicle on a road forming the access from a public highway to a farm. The road in question was part of the farm and led only to the farmhouse, where it terminated.

It had no other houses upon it, and it was not maintained by any public authority but was maintained by the farm tenant in terms of his lease. There was no gate at the entrance to it, and no intimation that it was not open to the public; and, except at times in summer, when the farmer placed a pole across it to prevent the straying of cattle which were grazing in the adjoining fields, there was no obstacle to prevent the public having access to it. The road was used by the public as an access to the farm, and members of the public not having business there also frequently walked on it. They had, on several occasions, been turned off by the farmer when there were growing crops in the adjoining fields.

Held, on appeal, that the road was a road to which the public had access within the meaning of sec. 121 (1) of the Road Traffic Act, 1930; and conviction sustained.

David Harrison, 26 Campbell Street, Johnstone, was charged in the Sheriff Court of Renfrew and Bute at Paisley, at the instance of John Hill, Procurator-fiscal, Paisley, on a complaint which set forth that the accused, while disqualified under the provisions of Part I. of the Road Traffic Act, 1930,1 for holding a driving licence, "did, on 28th January 1931, on the road leading from Drygate Road to Auchenames Farm, occupied by Robert Middlemas, in the Parish of Kilbarchan, drive a motor vehicle contrary to section 7 (4) of said Act." The accused pleaded not guilty.

The Sheriff-substitute (Hamilton), after evidence had been led, convicted the accused, and, at his request, stated a case for appeal to the High Court of Justiciary.

The case set forth that the following facts were admitted or proved:— "(1) The appellant was convicted in the Sheriff Court, Paisley, on 29th December 1930, of a contravention of section 15 of the Road Traffic Act, 1930, and was sentenced to pay a fine of £25(payable within fourteen days from that date) or sixty days” imprisonment, and was disqualified under the provisions of Part I. of said Road Traffic Act, 1930, for a period of twelve months from that date for holding or obtaining a licence to drive a motor vehicle. (2) On 28th January 1931, on the road leading from Drygate Road to Auchenames Farm House...

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57 cases
  • Adams v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis
    • United Kingdom
    • Queen's Bench Division
    • Invalid date
  • Dunn v Keane
    • United Kingdom
    • High Court of Justiciary
    • 27 May 1976
    ...which the public had access within the meaning of sec. 196 (1) of the Road Traffic Act 19721; and conviction sustained. Harrison v. HillSC 1932 J.C. 13 followed;Paterson v. OgilvySC1957 J.C. 42referred to. Observed that it is clear that a place may be a public place even where there is a ri......
  • Stanbridge v Healy
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 1 January 1985
    ...at large did not have access to the place where the accident happened, and that it was not therefore a 'public place': Harrisonv. Hill 1932 SC (J) 13 applied. 2. That 'public' means the public generally and not any particular class of the public. ...
  • R v Shaw (Charles)
    • United Kingdom
    • Court of Appeal (Criminal Division)
    • Invalid date
  • Request a trial to view additional results
2 books & journal articles
  • Divisional Court
    • United Kingdom
    • Sage Journal of Criminal Law, The No. 56-1, February 1992
    • 1 February 1992
    ...since itis difficult to talk of 'principles' upon which 'questions of fact and degree'must be determined.In Harrison v Hill [1932] SC(J) 13, the Scottish court stated that a roadorotherpublic place is one to which the public, in the sense of the publicgenerally, has access lawfully, so that......
  • “Lawful and Unlawful Obstruction of Public Roads”
    • United Kingdom
    • Sage Police Journal: Theory, Practice and Principles No. 7-4, October 1934
    • 1 October 1934
    ...be so used " is guiltyof an offence, and by Section 113 the owner or other person1Bryant e, Marx (1932), 96J.P.383.IHarrison e. Hill (1932), S.C. (J.) 13. 446THEPOLICE JOURNALmust, when required by or on behalf of a chief officer ofpolice, give such information as will trace the identity of......

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