Attempts - A2 law special study


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Campbell (1990)

D had an imitation gun, sunglasses and a threatening note in his pocket outside a post office.  Because he had not entered the building he had not gone past 'the psychological barrier on the way towards committing the offence' he could not be convicted. 

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Gullefer (1987

D jumped onto a racetrack in order to get the race claimed 'void' therefore enabling him to claim his betting money back.  Because this act was deemed as merely preparatory to the offence of attempted fraud he could not be convicted.

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Geddes (1996)

D was found in a boys schools toilet block with a knife, a rope and some masking tape.  Because he had not approached any of the boys he could not be convicted of anything as his acts had been merely preparatory for any offence. 

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Jones (1990)

D bought a shotgun, shortened the barrel, loaded it and waited for V outside his childs school.  Once V arrived, D jumped in his car, pointed the gun and pulled the trigger.  Because the safety cap was on no bullet was released and V managed to throw the gun out of the window.  D was convicted of attempted murder because it was said that at the point D got into the car and pointed the gun he had gone past being merely preparatory - he was embarking on the crime. 

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Attorney Generals Reference no3 (1994)

D threw a petrol bomb at a car containg 4 men.  The bomb missed the car and his a brick wall - harming nobody.  D was originally charged with attempted arson and attempt to endanger a life and it was said that even though he fully intended arson he was merely reckless when he endangered a life.  This was still enough for a conviction.

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Shivpuri (1985)

D was accused of dealing a controlled drug when he was found with a package containg a powdered substance at his flat.  D believed this was heroin.  Although it was found that the substance was actually powdered cabbage D was still convicted because he had the intent to deal a controlled drug.

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Whybrow (1951)

D was on 'bad terms' with his wife so he hooked up the bath so that it would administer a huge shock to her which was life threatening.  He did not realise that the bath was porcelain and would not conduct electricity but when she touched the metal soap dish she did recieve a small shock.  D was not convicted of attempted murder because his intent was not to kill it was only to cause a serious injury. 

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Mohan (1976)

D was driving when he was signalled to stop by a police officer.  Although it appeared he was slowing down he sped back up, accelerating towards the police officer.  The police officer dove out of the way of the car but D was still convicted of murder because death was deemed to be a virtual certainty


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White (1910)

D put cyanide in his mothers drink, intending for it to kill her.  Before she managed to drink it she suffered from a heart attack and so did not die due to Ds actions.  Even though D did not kill his mother, had she not died in another way he would have done.  Because of this he was convicted of attempted murder

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Attorney Generals reference no1 (1993)

D dragged a girl up steps to a shed where he dropped his trousers, intending to **** her.  Due to the fact that he could not get an erection he could not **** her - however he was still convicted of attempted **** because he had the mens rea.

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Boyle and Boyle (1987)

The Ds were found standing by a door to a house where the lock and all but one of the hinges had been broken off.  Their conviction of attempted burglary was upheld because they had gone past the point of being merely preparatory.

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Easom (1971)

D picked up a womans handbag in a cinema and rummaged through it but took nothing.  His conviction of attempted theft was quashed because the prosecution could not prove that he intended to take anything from the bag.

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Husseyn (1977)

D and another man were seen loitering behind the back of a van that contained high quality diving goods.  When the police appraoched both men ran away.  Ds conviction of attempted theft was quashed because intent to steal could not be proved.

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Millard and Vernon (1987)

Ds repeatidly pushed against a wooden fence at a football ground and were originally convicted of attempted criminal damage.  The Court of Appeal quashed the conviction because the Ds were being reckless and there was no proof that they intended to break the fence

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Stonehouse (1977)

D faked his own death and ran away with his girlfriend knowing that his wife and children would recieve a large sum of inheritance money.  When he was discovered to be alive his wife had not cashed in the money so no fraud had been committed.  Because D had done everything in his power for the fraud to happen he was convicted of attempting to defraud the insurance company

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Webley v Buxton (1977)

D was charged with attempted TWOCing (taking without owners consent) of a motorcycle.  Although he was pushing it away from the house and therefore had completed the full offence, he was only charged with an attempt.

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R v Toothill (1998)

D was seen in the garden of V apparently masturbating when the police were called.  He knocked on her door and when the police arrived was found to have a knife, gloves and a condom in his pocket.  D was charged with attempted burglary with intent to **** because he had gone past the point of being merely preparatory when he knocked on the door.

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Harpreet Sihra


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