R v Day – Case Summary

R v Day

Court of Appeal

Citations: [2015] EWCA Crim 1646.


The appellant was staying with a friend in student accommodation. The complainant was the friend’s roommate. Several times during the evening, the complainant (who was drunk) told them that their music was too loud.

This eventually resulted in a heated discussion in the bedroom doorway. The appellant told the complainant to leave the bedroom, as she was only partly clothed. The complainant refused, at which point the appellant told him that she would close the door if he did not. When the complainant failed to move, the appellant pushed him out of the room. As a result of this, he fell and hit his head against the doorframe.

At trial for assault, the appellant argued self-defence: that she had used reasonable force to remove the complainant from the room. The prosecution argued that she could not rely on self-defence, as there was no point at which the appellant feared for her safety or that of anyone else. The appellant was convicted.

  1. Could the appellant rely on self-defence in these circumstances?

The Court of Appeal quashed the conviction. Self-defence also entitles a person who lawfully occupies a space to evict a trespasser from that space, even if they do not believe that the trespasser poses them any danger. In this case, if the jury had been directed correctly, it was not certain that they would have convicted the appellant. The conviction was therefore unsafe.

This Case is Authority For…

The lawful occupier of a space is entitled to use reasonable force to remove a trespasser from the area.