R v Harry – Case Summary

R v Harry

Citations: [1974] Crim LR 32.


The defendant organised a Student Rag Appeal to raise money. As part of this, he wrote letters to local shops asking for donations. He stated that shops which donated would be immune from any ‘inconvenience’ involved in the Rag activities and events. The defendant was charged with blackmail.

  1. Was the defendant’s wording accompanied by ‘menaces’?

The court held that blackmail was not established. The defendant’s wording was not ‘menacing’.

This Case is Authority For…

‘Menacing’ and ‘menaces’ are words with a high threshold. Blackmail requires either the threat of violence or a high degree of coercion or pressure.