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Anderton v Ryan

[1985] AC 560

Case summary last updated at 10/01/2020 17:44 by the Oxbridge Notes in-house law team.

Judgement for the case Anderton v Ryan

 D attempted to handle a good that she believed was stolen. In fact it had not been stolen and there was no evidence to suggest this. HL said that S.1 did not allow for conviction where, on the true facts of the case, there could not have been a crime, whatever D’s beliefs. Lord Bridge said that in objectively looking at the facts (i.e. forgetting what D believed) there was a perfectly proper commercial transaction. If S.1 is to be taken as creating criminalisation where no offence has been committed then a man who takes his own umbrella from a stand, blieiving it to be someone else’s, or a man who has sex with a 16 year old when he thought she was 15 would be guilty. Lord Bridge also argued that S.1 has not allowed for criminalisation without any guilty act but merely an incomplete guilty act. To allow criminalisation where the intended crime is impossible would be to make a guilty mind alone liable. 

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