Criminal Attempts
Liability for trying to commit a crime.
Overview

We have been looking at secondary parties, joint
enterprise, and conspiracy.
All have one thing in common: no ne...
Session Objectives

By the end of the session, all learners will:
Be able to apply the law of attempts to a case
study.
So...
Attempt?
Walt has a grudge against Jessie, his former business
associate. One evening, he decides that he is going to
chok...
Definition

Criminal Attempts Act 1981, section 1(1)
If, with the intent to commit an offence to which
this section applie...
Elements of the Offence
Attempts
Attempts

Intention to commit
Intention to commit
an offence
an offence

Does some kind
D...
Actus Reus
Walt has a gambling problem. He bets £18 on a
greyhound, hoping that he will win £50 by the end of
the race. Un...
Actus Reus
R v Gullefer (1990)
Lord Lane CJ: D was not guilty of attempted theft. Jumping
onto the track was merely prepar...
Actus Reus
R v Jones (1990)
D's girlfriend left him for another man (V).
D bought a shotgun, sawed off the barrels, dresse...
Actus Reus
R v Campbell (1991)
D is arrested by the police wearing a crash helmet
and carrying a fake gun.
He was within a...
Actus Reus
R v Geddes (1996)
D is found hiding in the boys' toilets in a local
school.
D runs away and the police discover...
Actus Reus - Common Thread
R v Geddes (1996). Lord Bingham:
There is no easy way to tell when an act has ceased
to be mere...
Actus Reus Timeline

Buys a
gun
Draws-up
a plan

Drives to
victim's
house

Waits outside
victim's
house

Loads gun and
rem...
Mens Rea

Intention to bring about the offence.
R v Whybrow (1951): For attempted murder you must
intend to cause death. A...
What if the Offence is
Impossible?

Section 1(2) Criminal Attempts Act 1981
A person may be guilty of attempting to commit...
What if the Offence is
Impossible?
R v Shivpuri (1987)
D was persuaded to act as a drugs courier.
He collected a briefcase...
Summary

An attempt involves an act which is more than merely
preparatory.
This is a difficult judgment to make.
You can b...
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5
×

Criminal Attempts

3,131 views

Published on

Criminal Attempts

  1. 1. Criminal Attempts Liability for trying to commit a crime.
  2. 2. Overview We have been looking at secondary parties, joint enterprise, and conspiracy. All have one thing in common: no need to commit a physical crime. We saw that conspiracy is an inchoate offence. Attempts is the second major inchoate offence.
  3. 3. Session Objectives By the end of the session, all learners will: Be able to apply the law of attempts to a case study. Some learners will: Be able to evaluate legal arguments on attempts.
  4. 4. Attempt? Walt has a grudge against Jessie, his former business associate. One evening, he decides that he is going to choke Jessie to death with his bare hands. In preparation for this, he joins the local dojo in the hope that he will eventually be sufficiently good at fighting to be able to wrestle Jessie to the ground. Walt's wife, Skyler, reads about his plans in his diary and calls the police. Walt is arrested whilst he is training in the dojo.
  5. 5. Definition Criminal Attempts Act 1981, section 1(1) If, with the 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.
  6. 6. Elements of the Offence Attempts Attempts Intention to commit Intention to commit an offence an offence Does some kind Does some kind of act of act More than merely More than merely preparatory preparatory
  7. 7. Actus Reus Walt has a gambling problem. He bets £18 on a greyhound, hoping that he will win £50 by the end of the race. Unfortunately, Walt's dog is performing very badly in the race and looks set to finish last. Not wanting to loose his £18, he jumps onto the track and stops the race, hoping that the stewards will call "no race" and he will be able to reclaim his bet from the bookmaker. Walt is charged with attempted theft from the bookmaker. Do you think his acts were more than merely preparatory?
  8. 8. Actus Reus R v Gullefer (1990) Lord Lane CJ: D was not guilty of attempted theft. Jumping onto the track was merely preparatory. The real attempt would come when he tried to claim his money back from the bookmaker. Must have embarked on the actual crime.
  9. 9. Actus Reus R v Jones (1990) D's girlfriend left him for another man (V). D bought a shotgun, sawed off the barrels, dressed in a helmet and overalls. Jumped into V's car and held the gun to his head. V grabbed the gun and threw it out of the window. Charged with attempted murder.
  10. 10. Actus Reus R v Campbell (1991) D is arrested by the police wearing a crash helmet and carrying a fake gun. He was within a yard of a Post Office door.
  11. 11. Actus Reus R v Geddes (1996) D is found hiding in the boys' toilets in a local school. D runs away and the police discover a backpack containing rope, sealing tape, and a knife. D is charged with attempted false imprisonment. More than merely preparatory?
  12. 12. Actus Reus - Common Thread R v Geddes (1996). Lord Bingham: There is no easy way to tell when an act has ceased to be merely preparatory. There is no rule of thumb test. Judgment must be based on the facts of each case. Has D done an act which shows that he has actually tried to commit the offence in question, or has he just got himself into a position or equipped himself to do so?
  13. 13. Actus Reus Timeline Buys a gun Draws-up a plan Drives to victim's house Waits outside victim's house Loads gun and removes safety clip. Throws victim against wall
  14. 14. Mens Rea Intention to bring about the offence. R v Whybrow (1951): For attempted murder you must intend to cause death. An intention to cause GBH is not enough.
  15. 15. What if the Offence is Impossible? Section 1(2) Criminal Attempts Act 1981 A person may be guilty of attempting to commit an offence to which this section applies even though the facts are such that the commission of the offence is impossible.
  16. 16. What if the Offence is Impossible? R v Shivpuri (1987) D was persuaded to act as a drugs courier. He collected a briefcase which he thought contained heroin. It actually contained vegetables. Convicted of attempting to smuggle drugs even though it was impossible for him to do so.
  17. 17. Summary An attempt involves an act which is more than merely preparatory. This is a difficult judgment to make. You can be guilty of an attempt even though the offence is impossible to commit. Mens rea: intention to commit the offence.

×