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Accessories, Attempt, Conspiracy, Incitement Notes

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Criminal law reading week 7 Accessories (i) Principals Gianetto [1997] 1 CAR 1: D was charged with murdering V and judge said it was open to jury to convict if they were satisfied that D had at least been an accessory, if not the principal. CA dismissed appeal, saying the prosecution did not need to specify whether D was accessory or principal and the jury do not need to be unanimous on which basis they are convicting D of murder (since accessories are to be tried as principal offenders under the Accessories and Abettors Act 1861). The important thing is to prove that D had necessary mens rea and actus reus so that D knows the case he has to answer. CA say any involvement of mere encouragement upwards would suffice. In trial the judge (with CA's blessing) said that if a man responded "oh goody" to being told that X would kill his wife, then he was an abettor. (ii) Innocent agents Cogan and Leak [1976] QB 217: C was convicted of rape as principal and L as an accessory (since he had procured C's crime). C's conviction was later quashed and L appealed that his conviction should be quashed since he could not be an accessory where there was no principal. CA dismissed his appeal on the grounds that it was against "justice and common sense" to acquit L on the basis of technicalities. Lawton J says that the wife had been raped (she had been "ravished without her consent) even though C didn't intend this and could not be held guilty. Since L had procured this, he ought to be punished. Accessory can be convicted even if principal acquitted. (iii) Actus reus Bainbridge [1959] 3 All ER 200: D bought equipment for X, which X used in a crime. The judge said that it was sufficient for prosecution to show that D knew of X's intention to commit a crime of the type which was committed, and that he did something, with that knowledge, to help the commission of the crime. D convicted. CA said this was the correct direction. CA say that mere "suspicion" of the crime is NOT enough. Clarkson [1971] 3 All ER 344: Ds watched X rape a woman and did nothing to stop him. However they did nothing to encourage the rape nor was there evidence to show that they intended to encourage the rape. They were convicted but CA quashed convictions on basis that intent and act of encouragement had to be proved (not mere presence). Of course there could be instances where mere presence was the purpose of the event (e.g. illegal prize fighting) and could be construed as encouragement. Not the case here. Attorney-General's Ref (No. 1 of 1975) [1975] 2 All ER 684: D laced V's drink secretly, knowing that V would drive soon. He was charged with aiding, abetting, counselling or

procuring a motoring offence and was acquitted with "no case to answer". CA said this was wrong since he HAD procured an offence surreptitiously. He said that Aid, abet, counsel and procure must mean different things since parliament would not have used four words if one or two would do. In this case D "procured" the crime, since "procure" means "to produce by endeavour". The terms should be given ordinary meaning. Calhaem [1985] QB 808: D paid Z to murder V. When Z was in V's home, he decided not to murder V, but suddenly went berserk and did it. D was convicted of counselling Z and CA dismissed her appeal on the grounds that "counsel" did not require a causal connection. On the basis of Widgery's "ordinary meaning" rule, the word "counsel" implies no causal connection an simply means "authorise" or "advise" etc JF Alford Transport [1997] 2 Cr. App. R. 326: Ds worked for a company and turned a blind eye to their truck drivers working longer hours than was allowed by EC regulations. In these circumstances CA quashed their convictions as accessories to the offence by saying that passive acceptance did not constitute aiding, abetting etc. For this there has to be active encouragement or assistance (iv) Mens Rea NCB v Gamble [1959] 1 QB 11: 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". NB in Garrett v Arthur Churchill Ltd 1970 it has been decided that one does not have a duty to return another's property if one knows that it will be used to commit a crime. Therefore it is no longer correct to treat people as effectively "automatons" in returning property so that a court could now rule differently to Devlin's analysis (though NB only civil case and doesn't impose duty not to return property to be used for a crime). Maxwell v DPP for Northern Ireland [1978] 3 All ER 1140: D2 was ordered by his organisation to guide D1 (in a following car) to a pub where RCs lived. D1 placed a bomb in the pub which was defused but fulfilled the requirements of the offence of endangering people's lives. HL upheld D2's conviction for aiding the offence. HL said that it was unnecessary to show that D2 knew the precise details of the offence, but it sufficed that D2 knew the type of offence to be committed or the essential matters constituting the offence. Given that D2's organisation carried out armed attacks on RCs regularly he must have been aware of the type of offence i.e. an armed attack.

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