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NCB v Gamble

[1959] 1 QB 11

Case summary last updated at 10/01/2020 16:21 by the Oxbridge Notes in-house law team.

Judgement for the case NCB v Gamble

A truck driver was allowed to carry excess load of coal by NCB and NCB was tried as an accessory to the offence. CA upheld NCB’s conviction. Lord Devlin stated that to supply someone with an object (e.g. selling a gun) with intent to aid the offence (intent being purpose or “natural and probable consequences” i.e. indifference) then they can be convicted as an accessory. However, he drew a distinction where one is returning property that belongs to another since returning another’s property upon their request is not really an action (i.e. one is automaton) and therefore, regardless of intent to aid, one cannot be convicted as an accessory in this latter case. Presumably the case of an indifferent shopkeeper who is aware that D will use a gun sold to him to kill could not now be convicted unless consequences are “virtually certain”. 

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