The term entrapment came into the news recently when footage surfaced of the England football team manager Sam Allardyce who was shown saying how he could get around third party transfer rules, subsequently losing his job in the process.

He complained that he was the victim of entrapment, something that was recently proven in the “fake sheik” case when pop star Tulisa was found to have been the victim. But what exactly is entrapment and how do we define it?

Definition

Essentially the definition of entrapment is someone (typically a police officer but this could also include journalists and legal representatives) who uses intimidation, harassment, fraud or other underhand tactics to tempt someone into committing a crime.

What should be made clear is that it is not as simple as offering the chance to do something illegal, if someone does this and you agree then this is not entrapment.

However, if it can be proven that someone coerced someone into doing something illegal (for example repeated threats, blackmail etc) then this could be defined as entrapment.

Proof

Essentially a defendant has the burden of proof ie they have to be able to prove that entrapment took place and that either no wrongdoing took place or it would not have happened if they had not been forced into it. It can be difficult because you have to show that without the person pressuring you that you would not agree to an illegal activity (or in the case of Sam Allardyce strongly suggesting that you could bend the rules and get around the rules as opposed to actually breaking any rules on screen).

Concern

If you feel you have been the victim of entrapment it is important to talk to a legal professional as soon as possible. They can discuss your circumstances and look at the likelihood of getting a positive result. The difficulty is in both proving it from an objective and subjective point of view – did the person in question behave in a legal way and follow everything to the letter of the law but equally did they do it in the spirit of the law?

This is why it is important to use a legal specialist. They can look at what happened and be able to offer an objective legal viewpoint. At Larcomes we believe in being “big enough to specialise and small enough to care.” What this means is that we would be able to take a step back and look at a case like this on its own merits. Not every case is the same and there may be disagreements on what does or does not constitute entrapment. What we would do is look at the evidence available before making a decision.

If you are worried about this and want to know more please contact us today so we can get you in touch with one of our specialists who can go over your case and personal circumstances in more detail, helping you to decide what will work best for your own situation.