(1) This section applies to any offence under section 197(1), 198(a) or 199(a)(i).
(2) A person charged with an offence to which this section applies shall, whether or not he would be treated for the purposes of this subdivision as having a lawful excuse apart from this subsection, be treated for those purposes as having a lawful excuse—
(a) if at the time of the conduct alleged to constitute the offence he believed—
(i) that the property in question belonged solely to himself;
(ii) that he held a right or interest in the property in question which authorized him to engage in the conduct; or
(iii) that the person or persons whom he believed to be entitled to consent to the destruction or damage in question had so consented or would have so consented if he or they had known the circumstances of the destruction or damage; or
(b) if he engaged in the conduct alleged to constitute the offence in order to protect property belonging to himself or another or a right or interest in property which was or which he believed to be vested in himself or another, and at the time of such conduct he believed—
(i) that the property, right or interest which he sought to protect was in immediate need of protection; and
(ii) that the means of protection adopted or proposed to be adopted were or would be reasonable having regard to all the circumstances.
(3) For the purposes of this section it is immaterial whether a belief is justified or not if it is honestly held.
(4) For the purposes of subsection (2) a right or interest in property includes any right or privilege in or over land, whether created by grant, licence or otherwise.
(5) This section shall not be construed as taking away or otherwise affecting any other defence recognized by law as a defence to criminal charges.
S. 201A inserted by No. 10/2003 s. 4.