Inchoate Offences - Attempt

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  • Merely thinking about a crime is not an offence. Once someone progresses to preparing to offend, this changes.
  • Statute provides the law on attempts in the Criminal Attempts Act 1981. This defines an attempt in s. 1(1) as any offence which would be triable as an indictable offence if it were finished.
  • Therefore, an attempt to perpetrate a summary offence is not a crime unless it is specified in another statue provision.
  • The actus reus of an attempt requires that an attempt should be more than 'preparatory'.
  • Criminal attempts are punished in line with the sentence for that of the completed offence. In reality though, an attempt is usually treated less severely.
  • The mens rea of an attempt to perpetrate a crime is provided by s. 1 (1) of the 1981 Act in 'intent to commit an offence to which this section applies...' This means that to satisfy the mens rea of attempt, you must intend to commit the crime in question. E.g: to be guilty of attempted murder, you must have intended to kill. (As in R v White where the defendant was guilty of the attempted murder of his mother where he had tried to poison her, but it was


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