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The Criminal Justice (Northern Ireland) Order 1986

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Wrongful taking possession, or use, of premisesN.I.

10.—(1) Any person who enters any premises with intent wrongfully to take possession of, or use, those premises shall be guilty of an offence.

(2) Any person who is on any premises after having entered the premises with intent wrongfully to take possession of, or use, the premises is guilty of an offence if he fails to leave the premises on being required to do so by or on behalf of the person lawfully entitled to possession of the premises.

(3) In any proceedings for an offence under this Article it shall be a defence for the person charged to prove that he acted under a bona fide and reasonable belief that by virtue of an estate vested in him or by virtue of a contract or licence he was lawfully entitled to enter, or continue in possession of, or use the premises, as the case may require, in respect of which the offence is alleged to have been committed.

(4) Where a person found guilty of an offence under this Article continues in possession of the premises in respect of which the offence has been committed, the court by which he is convicted shall order the issue of a warrant directing that the person appearing to it to be lawfully entitled to possession of the premises be put into such possession.

(5) A court which makes an order under paragraph (4) may stay or suspend the issue of the warrant for such period or periods as it thinks fit; so, however, that the court shall not stay or suspend for more than 3 months the issue of a warrant for possession of premises which are required for the execution of the functions of—

(a)a Minister of the Crown or a Northern Ireland department;

(b)a district council or a joint committee appointed by 2 or more district councils;

(c)a body established under any statutory provision;

(d)a housing association registered under Article 124 of the [1981 NI 3] Housing (Northern Ireland) Order 1981.

(6) A person guilty of an offence under this Article shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or to both.

(7) Nothing in this Article or in any warrant issued under this Article shall prejudice or affect the right of any person to take any civil proceedings or other action in respect of any premises or otherwise prejudice or affect the lawful title of any person to any premises or, without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing provisions of this paragraph, the right of any person in whom a right to possession of premises exists to resume the possession of the premises peaceably and without process of law.

(8) In this Article—

“premises” means any building or structure designed or adapted for residential purposes, any part of a building or structure being a part so designed or adapted or any land adjacent to such a building, structure or part which is used (or intended for use) in connection with that building, structure or part and includes any such building, structure or part in the course of construction;

“structure” includes any moveable structure or vehicle.

(9) In Article 4(b) of the [1981 NI 6] Judgements Enforcement (Northern Ireland) Order 1981 (judgements to which that Order applies) for the words “section 1(2) of the Summary Jurisdiction (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act (Northern Ireland) 1946” there shall be substituted the words “ Article 10(4) of the Criminal Justice (Northern Ireland) Order 1986 ”.

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