Attempts overview

My main notes on attempts for the special study exam

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An attempt is where a person tries to commit an offense but for some reason fails. The majority
of crimes can be attempted (theft, murder, rape etc).
A case example of an attempt to murder is White:
Attempt is now defined as:
If, with intent to commit an offence to which this section applies, a person does an
act which is more that merely preparatory to the commission of an offence, he is
guilty of attempting to commit that offence.
As with most offences the prosecution must prove:
Actus reus: a person does an act which is more than merely preparatory to the offence
Mens rea: with intent to commit that offence
The definition of merely preparatory has been a problem within the courts as it is said to be the
point where you cannot turn around and not do the act. For example D is planning to rob a
bank, he drives around to check escape routes, he buys a shotgun, he stands outside the bank
ready to rob it ­ for all of these he is being merely preparatory. However the moment D steps
inside the bank he can be arrested for attempted theft.

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For an attempt the defendant usually has to have the same mens rea as would be required for
the full offence. If the prosecution cannot prove that D had the intention then D is not guilty of
attempting the crime. This is shown in the cases of Easom and Husseyn.
In both of these cases the decision made by the CoA was critisised because it was highly likely
that the D's would have taken something if the situation was different.…read more


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