This is an extract of our Inchoate Offences document, which we sell as part of our GDL Criminal Law Notes collection written by the top tier of Cambridge/Bpp/College Of Law students.
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Inchoate: anticipating or preparatory to a further criminal act.
o NB there is no crime of attempted aiding or abbetting
S.1(1) Criminal Attempts Act 1981
o An act which is more than merely preparatory.
For the jury to determine (s.4(3) CAA 1981) if there is any evidence.
Determined on the 'plain, natural, ordinary meaning' or the words (Gullefer)
Has the defendant "crossed the Rubicon and burnt his boats" (Stonehouse) this is a stricter test than the actual one.
o Gullefer  - Gullefer placed a bet at the greyhound races. Jumped on to the track to divert the tracks to try and get the race declared null and void. Charged with attempted theft of the £18 bet.
Held he had not 'embarked on the crime proper.'
Referenced pre-act case of Robinson (1915) - jeweller had faked a robbery. Not the conduct of an attempt -
still had to make the insurance claim, not the conduct constituent elements for an attempt.
o Inconsistency in the case law.
R v Jones  - Jones' mistress was cheating on him. Bought shotgun, disguised himself, travelled to the scene were all considered preparatory acts. Getting into the car and pointing the gun was the line at which charged with attempted murder.
R v Campbell  - apprehended one yard from
Post Office with an imitation pistol, fake sunglasses,
Held he had not entered criminal arena and his acts were merely preparatory.
R v Griffin  - Children had been taken into care,
mother bought ferry tickets, rang school saying she intended to take them to dental appointment. Went no further.
Held on calling the school she had embarked on attempted kidnap crime proper.
AG's Reference (No. 1 of 1992) - D dragged complainant behind hedge. Police found her with dress up, knickers nearby, and bruising near vaginal area.
CA held that there was no requirement of attempted rape to show that the defendant had reached the point of trying to penetrate the
complainant, need merely show more than preparatory acts.
R v Geddes  - always a question of fact and degree. D found in boys school hiding in loo with string,
duct tape and knife. Held he had not move from a role of "intention, preparation and planning" into the area of
"execution and implementation." Only lying in wait.
R v Tosti  - Ds attempted to break into a barn.
Held that parking car down the road with tools in boot was merely preparatory. However, inspecting the lock
(running off when seen) with oxygen cutting equipment nearby was more than preparatory.
Law Commission have considered reform, considering
American approach of substantial step liability
o Intention to carry out the offence.
R v Whybrow  - attempted murder, only an intention to kill will suffice, not constructive like murder.
o This amounts to an intention to bring about the full consequences of the AR (i.e. the missing pieces of the AR)
AGs Ref No. 3 of 1992 - attempted aggravated arson.
Had thrown a petrol bomb which had hit a wall and exploded near some people. Wall was undamaged and no clear intention to endanger life.
In terms of destroying/damaging property, we must prove intention. But outside of that, we can apply recklessness to it.
o Oblique intent:
R v Walker (1989) - V dropped from third floor balcony. No direct intention.
The court held that the jury may (but do not necessarily have to) infer intention where they are satisfied that the defendant foresaw the result as a virtual certainly.
o Courts have tried to distinguish between the circumstances relating to the crime and the consequences
R v Khan (1990) - attempted rape of 16yo. Held the
MR for rape and attempted rape can be analysed in the same way: 1) an intention to have sexual intercourse and 2) knowledge of, or recklessness as to, the absence of consent.
o But this seems to no longer be the case: Attempts require a narrower MR than the principle offence.
R v Pace and Rogers  - proceeds of crime involving scrap metal dealers who purchased stolen metal and melted it down. Held that the fact that they merely suspected that the property was stolen - not
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