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Regina v. Prince

Court for Crown Cases Reserved
L.R. 2 Cr. Cas. Res. 154 (1875)



Henry Prince (defendant) took away Annie Phillips, who was fourteen years old at the time, against the wishes of her father. Prince was charged under an English statute that made it a misdemeanor to take an unmarried girl under sixteen years old from the possession of her guardian without the guardian’s consent. At Prince’s trial, the jury concluded that Phillips looked much older than sixteen, she told Prince she was eighteen, and Prince genuinely and reasonably believed her. Nevertheless, the jury convicted Prince. Prince appealed to the Court for Crown Cases Reserved, seeking to have the conviction quashed on the basis of his reasonable mistake as to Philips’s age.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Blackburn, J.)

Concurrence (Denman, J.)

Concurrence (Bramwell, J.)

Dissent (Brett, J.)

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