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R v Rimmington [2005]

Facts

  • The defendant sent 538 racially abusive letters to various recipients

Issue

  • Did this constitute a public nuisance?

Decision

  • No

Reasoning

  • No common effect on all of the recipients
  • A public nuisance is an act not authorised by law which omits to discharge a legal duty and endangers the life, health, property, comfort or public rights of a class of persons in a common way.
  • Judges should not put criminal offences to unorthodox uses, but should prefer slow, incremental change and prioritise the use of statutory offences over common law offences
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