Chapter 9 Interactive key cases

D and X were on remand in prison. They spent one night in the same cell. D expected shortly to be released on bail, and agreed with X that D would get some wire cutters and give them to a third party. After he was released, though, D was involved in a car accident and could not assist. D later said he had never intended that the escape plan should be carried into effect or believed that it could possibly succeed.

The House of Lords dismissed his appeal against conviction for conspiracy. It was not necessary to establish an intention on the part of each conspirator that the offence or offences in question should in fact be committed; it was sufficient to show that he had known that the course of conduct to be pursued would amount to the commission of an offence and that he had intended to play some part in the agreed course of conduct in furtherance of the criminal purpose that it had been intended to achieve.

D was carrying a package containing a powdered substance which he thought was a controlled drug. He was charged with various offences of attempted drug dealing, but an analysis of the substance proved it to be merely vegetable material.

Lord Bridge, dismissing D’s appeal against conviction, held that in respect of s 1 Criminal Attempts Act 1981 the jury should consider two questions (and notwithstanding that the commission of the actual offence was, on the facts, impossible).
Did the defendant intend to commit the offence which it is alleged he attempted to commit?
Did he, in relation to that offence, do an act which was more than merely preparatory to the commission of the intended offence?

Ds were scrap metal dealers who bought scrap metal they suspected was ‘criminal property’, but in fact it was part of a police ‘sting’ operation.

For an attempted offence, it must be shown that D intended to produce the actus reus. In this case it had to be shown that the defendants intended the property to be ‘criminal property’.

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