• In the case of Jones and Smith 1976 1 WLR 672, it was held that a person who has general permission to enter a particular premises may nevertheless be a trespasser thereon if he enters the same knowing that he is acting in excess of such a general permission or being reckless as to whether he is so acting.

Facts of the Case

  • The appellants were convicted of burglary, having entered a bungalow owned by the father of one of them and stealing two television sets.
  • It was contended by the sons that, inter alia that a person having general permission to enter premises, such as the son had, could not be “a trespasser” for the purposes of the Theft Act 1968.

Issues in Jones and Smith 1976 1 WLR 672

  • Could the sons be convicted as trespassers given that they had general permission to enter the house?

Held by Court of Appeal (Criminal Division)  

  • Appeal dismissed.

James LJ

  • Held that the permission given have been exceeded and that the jury had been entitled to find that the appellants were trespassers.
  • “In this particular case it was a matter for the jury to consider whether, on all the facts, it was shown by the prosecution that the defendants entered with the knowledge that entry was being effected against the consent or F in excess of the consent that had been given by Mr. Smith senior to his son, the defendant Smith. The jury were, by their verdict satisfied of that. It was a novel argument that we heard, interesting but one without, in our view, any foundation” pg. 675.