R v. Singh (Amar Jit); R v. Meeuwsen
|Publisher||United Kingdom: Court of Appeal (England and Wales)|
|Publication Date||20 October 1972|
|Citation / Document Symbol|| 1 All ER 122,  1 WLR 1600, 57 Cr App Rep 180, 137 JP 112|
|Cite as||R v. Singh (Amar Jit); R v. Meeuwsen,  1 All ER 122,  1 WLR 1600, 57 Cr App Rep 180, 137 JP 112, United Kingdom: Court of Appeal (England and Wales), 20 October 1972, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6b6d210.html [accessed 26 May 2013]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
R v Singh (Amar Jit), R v Meeuwsen
COURT OF APPEAL, CRIMINAL DIVISION
 1 All ER 122,  1 WLR 1600, 57 Cr App Rep 180, 137 JP 112
Hearing Date: 12, 20 OCTOBER 1972
20 OCTOBER 1972
Alien - Immigration - Illegal immigrant - Entry into United Kingdom - Assisting entry - Knowingly carrying out arrangements for facilitating entry of anyone known or believed to be an illegal entrant - Arrangements carried out after entrant having entered United Kingdom - Whether an offence - Immigration Act 1971, s 25 (1).
Held:Twelve Asians who did not have leave to enter the United Kingdom were concealed in boilers in Rotterdam. The boilers were shipped to the United Kingdom on a ferry and disembarked at Felixstowe. The trailer on which they were loaded passed through the customs and parked in a trailer park. The park was outside that part of the port which was under the control of the immigration authorities. Next day some of the Asians were seen crouching under the trailer and were taken into custody as illegal entrants. That night the appellant M arrived at the dock gatehouse, carrying a heavy spanner. He was arrested and found to have on him a torch and large wrench. He admitted that he had been told to open the boilers and let out the Asians concealed there. The appellant S was arrested at the same time and admitted to the police that he had gone to Felixstowe knowing that his brother was coming to the United Kingdom in circumstances which were such that he must have known that the borother's entry would be illegal. The appellants were charged with being knowingly concerned in carrying out arrangements for facilitating entry into the United Kingdom of illegal entrants, contrary to s 25 (1) a of the Immigration Act 1971. They were convicted and appealed contending, inter alia, that once the illegal entrants had left that part of the port which was subjects to the control of the immigration authorities they were no longer deemed under s 11 (1) b of the 1971 Act not to have entered the United Kingdom, so that anything done after they had entered the United Kingdom by leaving that part of the port could not in law be deemed to have been done for the purpose of securing or facilitating entry into the United Kingdom. a Section 25 (1), so far as material, provides: "Any person knowingly concerned in making or carrying out arrangements for securing or facilitating the entry into the United Kingdom of anyone whom he knows or has reasonable cause for believing to be an illegal entrant shall be guilty of an offence...' b Section 11 (1) is set out at p 125 e and f, post Held - The appeal would be dismissed. Effective arrangement for securing or facilitating the entry into the United Kingdom of anyone would be likely to include plans for getting the entrant away as quickly as possible from the point of disembarkation. Those who made or carried out such plans would be 'facilitating... entry into the United Kingdom' within the meaning of s 25 (1) of the 1971 Act; s 11 (1) had no bearing on s 25 (1) (see p 125 j to p 126 b, post).
Notes:For offences connected with illegal entry of immigrants into the United Kingdom, see Supplement to 5 Halsbury's Laws (3rd Edn) para 1515. For the Immigration Act 1971, ss 11, 25, see 41 Halsbury's Statutes (3rd Edn) 32, 45.
Cases referred to in the Judgment:R v Chapman  2 KB 606, CA. R v Hurley and Murray  VR 526.
Introduction:Appeals. These were appeals by Amar Jit Singh and Johannes Hendrikus Petres Meeuwsen against their convictions on 28th March 1972 at Ipswich Crown Court before his Honour Judge Richards and a jury. The appellant Singh was convicted of carrying out arrangements for securing or facilitating the entry into the United Kingdom of illegal entrants, contrary to s 25 (1) of the Immigration Act 1971 (count 2), and the appellant Meeuwsen of conspiracy to facilitate the entry into the United Kingdom of illegal entrants (count I) and of carrying out arrangements for securing or facilitating the entry into the United Kingdom of illegal entrants, contrary to s 25 (1) of the 1971 Act (count 3). The appellant Singh was sentenced to six months' imprisonment suspended for 18 months and fined @ 100, and the appellant Meeuwsen was sentenced to 12 months' imprisonment concurrent on each count and fined @ 500. They both appealed pursuant to a certificate of the trial judge under s 2 (1) of the Criminal Appeal Act 1968, which, so far as material, was in the following terms:
'1. Whether I was right in holding that the offence created by s 25 (1) of the Immigration Act 1971 of being knowingly concerned in making or carrying out arrangements for securing or facilitating the entry into the United Kingdom of anyone whom he knows or has reasonable cause of believing to be an illegal entrant may be committed by actions of the accused performed either prior to or subsequently to the time and place of disembaration of illegal entrants as defined by s 11 (1) of the 1971 Act...'The facts are set out in the judgment of the court.
Counsel:Sir Dingle Foot QC and S T D Rafique for the appellant Singh. J F F Platts-Mills QC and S Kadri for the appellant Meeuwsen. J C C Blofeld for the Crown.
Judgment-READ:Cur adv vult. 20th October. PANEL: LAWTON LJ, CHAPMAN AND WIEN JJ
Judgment One:LAWTON LJ read the following judgment of the court. These appellants, Amar Jit Singh and Johannes Hendrikus Petres Meeuwsen, on 28th March 1972, after a trial before his Honour Judge Richards and a jury, were convicted as follows: the appellant Singh of carrying out arrangements for securing or facilitating the entry into the United Kingdom of illegal entrants, contrary to s 25 (1) of the Immigration Act 1971; the appellant Meeuwsen of a similar offence and of conspiring to carry out arrangements to facilitate the entry into the United Kingdom of illegal entrants. The appellant Singh had been charged with but acquitted of conspiracy. He was sentenced to six months' imprisonment suspended for 18 months and fined @ 100. The appellant Meeuwsen was sentenced to 12 months' imprisonment and fined @ 500. Both appeal against conviction on the certificate of the trial judge. They also apply for leave to appeal against sentence but these applications were ineffective as no grounds were given. Both appellants submitted that the judge misconstrued s 25 (1) of the Immigration Act 1971 in holding and directing the jury that an offence of being knowingly concerned in carrying out arrangements for securing or facilitating entry into the United Kingdom of anyone whom the accused knows or has reasonable cause for believing to be an illegal entrant may be committed if he does acts either to or subsequently to the time and place of disembarkation of illegal entrants as defined by s 11 (1) of the same Act. Put in more simple terms, both appellants submitted that on the true construction of the Act they ought not to have been found guilty because what was alleged against them had been done after the illegal entrants had landed and passed beyond the part of the port of Felixstowe which was under the control of the immigration and customs authorities, in other words after they had entered into the United Kingdom. In addition both appellants sought to rely on alleged matters of misdirection which were not mentioned in the judge's certificate. The evidence which was put before the court established the following facts. One or more persons in Holland arranged for 12 Asians, who had no leave to enter the United Kingdom, to be hidden in two empty boilers which were being shipped from rotterdam to Felixstowe on a ferry. The plot was put into operation and the ferry docked at Felixstowe at about 8 a m on 3rd December 1971. The trailer on which the boilders had been carried was driven off the ferry; it passed through the customs not later than about 12 noon and was parked in an enclosed trailer park to await collection before being delivered forward. It was accepted by the Crown that this trailer park was not a part of the port which was under the control of the immigration authorities. The next day between 5 and 6 p m a number of Asians were seen crouching under the trailer. They, together with a few who had moved away from the trailer, were taken into custody as illegal entrants. Later that night the appellant Meeuwsen came to the dock gatehouse. He was carrying a heavy spanner in his pocket. He told a security officer there that he was looking for a ship to take him to Holland. About two hours later he was arrested and was found to be in possission of a torch and a large wrench. At about the same time the appellant Singh and another man, who was tried on the same charge as the appellant Singh but acquitted, were arrested in Ipswich. Both appellants made statements to the police and in them they each admitted that they had travelled to Felixstowe on 4th December 1971 in a convoy of three motor cars. In both his statement and his evidence the appellant Singh admitted that he knew that his brother was going to come to the United Kingdom and the circumstances in which he came to know this, as he recounted them, were such that he must have known that his brother's entry into the United Kingdom was going to be illega. His explanation for going to Felixstowe on 4th December 1971 was that a man named Mohnder Singh, who had been active in arranging for his brother to come to the United Kingdom illegally, had threatened that if he did not pay him @ 200 his brother would be killed. Under this threat and in fear for his brother's life he had paid money and done as he was told by Mohnder Singh. His account of what had happened was the basis for the defence of duress which had to be dealt with by the judge in his summing-up and it was submitted that he had misdicted the jury about it. The appellant Meeuwsen's defence was that he was the innocent victim of a blackmailer called Scheier. According to both his statement and his evidence, he was blackmailed in Holland because of some marital inflidelity into doing what he was asked by Scheier; and what Scheier asked him to do was to go to England to collect a motor car and bring it back to Holland. He was given some money and Mohnder Singh's address in Southall. He did as he ws told. He met Mohnder Singh and went with him and others to Felixstowe. He thought he was going there to collect a motor car; be when he got there he was given a torch, a spanner and a piece of paper showing where the trailer with its load of boilers was ot be found. Then, and for the first time, he was told that he was to open the boilers and let the people in them out. He refused, so he said, to do anything of the kind and left Mohnder Singh and the others. When arrested he was waiting for a ship to take him back to Holland. There was ample evidence before the jury to justify their finding (as they clearly did) that these appellants had gone to Felixstowe together for the purpose of helping on their way Asians who had been hidden in the boilers. It was, howevr, the contention of the appellants that once the illegal entrants had crossed the 'state line', to adopt words used by counsel for the appellant Meeuwsen, they had effected entry into the United Kingdom so that anything arranged to be done on the inland side of that line could not in law be deemed to have been done for the purpose of securing or facilitating entry. This resulted, so it was submitted, from s 11(1) of the Immigration Act 1971 which is in these terms:
'A person arriving in the United Kingdom by ship or aircraft shall for the purposes of this Act be deemed not to enter the United Kingdom unless and until he disembarks, and on disembarkation at a port shall further be deemed not to enter the United Kingdom so long as he remains in such area (if any) at the port as may be approved for this purpose by an immigration officer; and a person who has not otherwise entered the United Kingdom shall be deemed not to do so as long as he is detained, or temorarily admitted or released while liable to detention, under the powers conferred by Schedule 2 to this Act.' We do not agreeThe Immigration Act 1971 is in four parts. Part I is concerned with the regulation of entry into and stay in the United Kingdom; Part II with appears by those refused leave to enter the United Kingdom and those who have been made the subject of either deportation orders or removal directors; Part IV with various supplementary matters; and Part III, which is in question in this case, with criminal proceedings against those who commit the offences created by the Act for the purposes of safe-guarding the regulation and control system set up by, and under, Part I. Section 24 defines the offences which can be committed by any one entering the United Kingdom illegally; s 25 defines the offences which can be committed by those who help illegal entrants. The help may come in two ways: the illegal entrant may be given help to get into the United Kingdom or he may be helped after he has arrived here. Section 25(1) was intended to deal with the first kind of help; s 25(2) with the second; but they are not mutually exclusive. The help to get in may be, and often is, continued without any break long after the illegal entry has been effected. There may be no dividing line between helping to effect entry and helping by way of harbouring. This seems to have been recognised by the words with which s 25 (2) starts, i e 'Without prejudice to subsection (1) above...' The offence created by s 25 (1) is defined in wide terms and the words used are in common use. The words 'the entry into the United Kingdom' must be construed in their context and not by themselves. Now those who are minded to enter the United Kingdom illegally have no wish to be discovered as soon as they disembark. Effective arrangements for an illegal entry would be likely to include plans for getting the entrant away as quickly as possible from the point of disembarkation. Those who made or carried out such plans would be facilitating entry into the United Kingdom. In this case there was evidence that both appellants were doing just this. In our judgment the trial judge was right to direct the jury aas he did. Further, s 11 (1), which comes in the regulating part of the Act, has no bearing on s 25 (1). It is concerned with what is deemed not to be entry; and one of its objects may well have been to take out of the administrative ambit of Art I of the Act that section of the travelling public which is in transit to some other country. We turn now to the other alleged misdirections. Counsel on behalf of the appellant Singh submitted first that the trial judge had misdirected the jury as to what was entailed in duress, secondly that he had suggested that some words used by the appellant Singh could bear a meaning which they could not and, thirdly, that the appellant Singh had had an opportunity of averting the threat to kill which he had not had. In our judgment there is nothing in any of these points. The trial judge directed the jury fully and correctly as to what constitutes duress. He pointed out that the essence of duress was the making of a threat either to kill or to do grievous bodily harm, and that if there was no threat, merely a gloomy prediction, or the threat had been rendered ineffective by some other action (reporting a threat to the police is an obvious way of making it ineffective) then no question of duress arose. We can see nothing wrong in what he said. The submission on duress which counsel for the appellant Meeuwsen made was bold but wrong. He asked us to say that a man who commits a crime at the request of a blackmailer whom he fears can plead duress. He cannot. Duress arises from threats of violence, not exposure. There was no misdirection on any material point. For these reasons the appeals were dismissed.