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Attempts

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  • 1. Attempts MAH 2013-14 An inchoate offence
  • 2. Homework Produce a section A essay in response to this Question from January 2013 Due: 20/9/2013
  • 3. Starter: Can you spot the problem? Jane, an investigative journalist, is on a train and goes to the toilet when she spots graffiti asking girls aged 13 to get in touch for sex, with a number. Jane texts the number and begins to get replies. Each is more explicit than the next. She reports it to a police station, where the charade is continued by a policeman, posing as a 13 year old girl. Eventually they arrange to meet, and David is arrested at the seaside, with a black marker pen in his pocket. Has he committed an offence?
  • 4. So how can we justify the conviction? After all, there’s no substantive offence… Take a look at these reasons. Which do you think is the best reason for criminalising attempts and why? All of you should be able to pick the best reason and give a reason why Most of you should be able to support your argument with reference to one case from your prior learning at AS or A2 Some of you should be able to explain why one of the other two are inadequate to justify imposing liability It allows the police to do their job more effectively These are people who impose a sufficiently clear risk of intentional harm if they were allowed to complete their actions e.g. the drug importer who is stopped at customs There is a high moral culpability associated with their acts, which would have completed if they weren’t interrupted or stopped. E.g. the person who poisons drink, which is accidently thrown away.
  • 5. …So, what might an attempt look like? What D did next… Attempted Crime Trying the handle of a door Burglary Knocking down a wall Escape from a prison Walking up behind someone and taking your hands out of your pockets Murder Placing a ladder against a house Burglary Taking out life insurance Making a false claim that someone ‘died’ Dragging someone into a shed Rape Tasks: 1 Decide whether or not D should be liable for the offence. 2. Explain why! In your explanation you should aim to use relevant legal terms, and make reference to the reasons for imposing liability for an attempt. Challenge: On the basis of these actions, can you define what D has to do to be liable for an attempted crime (the AR)?
  • 6. What does the law actually say? Criminal Attempts Act 1981 If, with intent to commit an offence to which this section applies, a person does an act which is more than merely preparatory to the commission of the offence, he is guilty of attempting to commit the offence, s.1(1) Criminal Attempts Act 1981 Actus Reus? Mens Rea? White 1910 1. Was his AR “more than merely preparatory”? 2. Was his mens rea “intention” to kill? Words of Act Can you work out the limitations of the current law? …and why might it be a problem? D can only be liable if he has “...done an act” s.1(1) “This section applies to any offence which, if it were completed, would be triable in England and Wales as an indictable offence” s.1(4)
  • 7. So what do we actually mean by “more than merely preparatory” R v Jones 1990 1. D buys a shotgun, shortens its barrel and loads it. 2. D leaves his house disguising himself by wearing overall and a crash helmet. 3. D approaches V’s car as he his dropping his daughter off at school 4. D opens the door and gets in 5. D says that he wants to “sort things out” 6. D takes out the shotgun from the bag 7. D points it at V and says “you’re not going to like this” When does the attempt start? D argued that he would have also had to: 8. Cock the gun 9. Put his finger on the trigger …to be liable What did the Court of Appeal say?  MTMP is the only guidance we have in the act What’s the issue?  It is a matter for the jury, but the judge decides whether there is enough evidence for a reasonable jury to find there was an attempt What’s the problem?
  • 8. Plenary: Answer the Question Discuss one reason why the Criminal Attempts Act 1981 is not fit for purpose. Explain one reason why we are justified imposing liability for an attempt, and link to an example. Why was Mr White liable for the attempted murder of his mother? Use the statutory tests. According to the 1981 Act, What actus reus must D be completing to be liable? A B C D
  • 9. Can you beat the teacher? 5 minutes… how many mistakes? Attempts are substantive offences, which were consolidated in the Criminal Attempts Act 1983. This made D liable if he intended to commit a crime and did an act that was preparatory. This phrase has caused lots of problems as it is not clear when D goes from preparing to attempting. In the case of Smith the House of Lords said that he became liable when he got into the lorry, as this is the point when the crime proper began to happen. The prosecution had argued that to be liable for an attempt he would have actually had to try and shoot the knife. This is similar to the tests which were in operation before the Act, but the Court of Appeal said that they should use the words of the Act, not previous statutory tests. This has been confirmed by the Court of Appeal in Geddes, when they held that an attempt was when D went from execution and implementation to planning and preparation, which meant that D was guilty when he took his handbag in the toilets. Can you beat the teacher? Attempts are inchoate offences, which were consolidated in the Criminal Attempts Act 1981. This made D liable if he intended to commit a crime and did an act that was more than merely preparatory. This phrase has caused lots of problems as it is not clear when D goes from preparing to attempting. In the case of Jones the Court of Appeal said that he became liable when he got into the Car, as this is the point when the crime proper began to happen. The defence had argued that to be liable for an attempt he would have actually had to try and shoot the gun. This is similar to the tests which were in operation before the Act, but the Court of Appeal said that they should use the words of the Act, not previous statutory tests, and upheld his conviction. This has been confirmed by the Court of Appeal in Geddes, when they held that an attempt was when D went fromplanning and preparation to execution and implementation, which meant that D was not liable when he was found with his rucksack and its contents in the toilets.
  • 10. Starter: Welcome to A2 Dominoes! You know the drill: Lollipop awesomeness... Your brain, no help. Sticker satisfactory... No(te) help, or a book. Too easy? Why is the offence of attempted rape not covered by the dominoes?
  • 11. Practising those application skills The best way to check you know the law is to use the law. Task: Each of you has one problem question. You will be applying the law, as you understand it, to the problem to produce a perfect model of a mini- problem question! What do you remember about how to answer them?
  • 12. In considering whether Megan is liable for the attempted kidnapping of Chris, is will be important to consider whether she has done an Act which is more than merely preparatory, with intent as required under s.1 Criminal Attempts Act 1981. Following the precedent of JONES, In disguising herself and equipping herself with the gun, she is clearly only committing a preparatory action, which would not be enough for MTMP under the Act. However, it can be argued that in stepping onto the premises, she is beginning to ‘embark on the crime proper’ as laid out by GUELLFER and, as she has clearly done more than D in CAMPBELL, would have appeared to have moved from planning and preparation to execution and implementation, which is the guidance issued by the Court of Appeal in GEDDES. In addition, by ‘deciding’ to kidnap Chris, she is clearly demonstrating a true desire to bring about the consequence [MOHAN], especially given her subsequent actions, and thus would seem to have the intent necessary under the Act. Having considered the issues, it appears that as she has done an act which may be considered MTMP and has a clear intent, she would be liable for the attempt. MissHart’sAnswer
  • 13. Now, swap and mark your classmate’s response. Identifies all of the relevant points of law in issue and demonstrates a high level of ability to develop arguments or apply points of law accurately and pertinently to a given factual situation, and reach a cogent, logical and well-informed conclusion. Identifies most of the relevant points of law in issue and demonstrates the ability to develop clear arguments or apply points of law clearly to a given factual situation, and reach a sensible and informed conclusion. Identifies the main points of law in issue and demonstrates the ability to develop arguments or apply points of law mechanically to a given factual situation, and reach a conclusion. Identifies some of the points of law in issue and demonstrates a limited ability to produce arguments based on their material or to apply points of law to a given factual situation but without a clear focus or conclusion. Identifies at least one of the points of law in issue., but their approach may be uncritical and/or unselective. The Mark Scheme: 5 4 3 2 1
  • 14. Plenary: What’s wrong with each of the five statements? 1. Geddes set down the test for more than merely preparatory. It is when D begins to embark on the crime proper. 2. Boyle and Boyle were found not guilty of the attempted burglary, as the courts applied the proximity test to determine whether they had done something which is more than merely preparatory. 3. Mohan states that an intent is the true wish to bring about the consequence, and this was expanding on Wherebrow to say that attempted murder required an intent to kill only. 4. Attempting to do the impossible has no limitations. 5. The Law Commission’s report carried forward two proposals, all the others were discarded. In your green books, write out the corrected version, aiming to be awesome in all ways!

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