R v Ryan (Lee Bernard) – Case Summary

R v Ryan (Lee Bernard)

Court of Appeal

Citations: [1996] Crim LR 320.


The defendant was found stuck in the window of a residential house early one morning. His head and right arm were inside the house, while the rest of his body was outside.

The defendant was convicted of burglary. He argued he had not entered the building within the meaning of s.9 of the Theft Act 1968, because he was not able to steal anything from his position.

  1. Had the defendant entered the building?

The Court of Appeal upheld the conviction. It was irrelevant that he was unable to steal anything. All that mattered was that part of his body had entered the building.

This Case is Authority For…

‘Entry’ into a building for the purposes of the burglary offence means the entry of any part of the defendant’s body. It does not need to be the defendant’s whole body. It does not matter that the defendant has not entered enough to be able to steal anything.