R v Larsonneur (Germaine) – Case Summary

R v Larsonneur (Germaine)

Court of Appeal

Citations: (1934) 24 Cr App R 74.


The defendant was a French citizen who was permitted to enter the UK subject to conditions recorded on her passport. One of those conditions required her to leave by a certain date. On that date, she went to the Irish Free State (the predecessor State to Ireland). The Irish Free State deported her back to the UK, where she was convicted of being a alien whose presence in the UK was prohibited. She appealed her conviction on the grounds that she had no choice, as she was forced to return to the UK by the Irish deportation order.

  1. Did the offence of being an illegal alien require any mens rea?

The Court of Appeal upheld the conviction. The offence merely required the defendant to be present in the UK in circumstances which had been prohibited by the Secretary of State. It did not matter that the defendant did not choose to be there. This was a strict liability offence.