DPP v Kelso

Judgment Date01 January 1984
Date01 January 1984
CourtSpecial Criminal Court (Ireland)
(Sp. Crim. Ct.)
Director of Public Prosecutions

- Possession - Accused being constables in R. U. C. - Whether possession for a lawful purpose - Accused believing that their lives would be in danger - Whether such belief honest and reasonable - Firearms Act, 1964 (No. 1), s. 27A - Criminal Law Jurisdiction Act, 1976 (No. 14), s. 8.

The three defendants were all R.U.C. members. One night, when they were off duty, they crossed the border into this State and went to a public house in Castleblayney, County Monaghan because the public houses in Northern Ireland were at that time closed. They all carried regulation issue R.U.C. hand guns, which were loaded, for use if necessary to protect their lives. They had no firearms certificates under the Firearms Acts. A hostile crowd attacked them in Castleblayney. One of the defendants brandished his gun to ward off the crowd. Each of the defendants was indicted before the Special Criminal Court on counts of two offences; one, possession of a firearm without a certificate and two, an offence contrary to s. 27 (a) (1) of the 1964 Act as inserted by the 1976 Act. S. 27 (a) (1) provides that 'A person who has a firearm or ammunition in his possession or under his control in such circumstances as to give rise to a reasonable inference that he has not got it in his possession or under his control for a lawful purpose shall, unless he...

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