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R v Sangha [1988] 2 All ER 385 Court of Appeal


The appellant set fire to a mattress in a block of flats. The flat was empty at the time and the flats were constructed in such a way as to prevent the spread of fire to neighbouring flats. He was convicted of aggravated criminal damage under s.1(2) Criminal Damage Act 1971 and appealed contending that no life was in fact endangered.

Held:

His conviction was upheld. There was no requirement that life should in fact be endangered under s.1(2). The test to be applied was whether an ordinary prudent bystander would, at the time when the fire was started, have perceived an obvious risk that property would be damaged and that life would thereby be endangered. The fact that there may have been special features which prevented the risk from materialising was irrelevant.
 
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