Inchoate Offences: Attempts, Conspiracy, Encouraging and Assisting Crime

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  • Created by: humayra
  • Created on: 09-05-13 18:30

Inchoate Offences Revision Notes

·         Inchoate Offence:  Inchoate offence is the crime of preparing or seeking to commit another crime

o   Inchoate offences share TWO elements:

1)      The actus reus of taking some steps towards accomplishing the crime, but not enough to complete it

2)      Mens rea of attempt

1)    Conspiracy

 

·         Common Law Conspiracy: To defraud or corrupt public morals/ outrage public decency.

o   Corruption of public morals derivative:-

o   Shaw v DPP [1961]: 

Ø  appellant published a 'ladies directory' which listed contact details of prostitutes 

Ø  convicted of conspiracy to corrupt public morals

Ø  Appellant appealed on grounds that no such offence existed.

Ø  HELD: Conviction upheld, amounted to a conspiracy to corrupt public morals (Common law)- conduct must be “destructive to the very fabric of society”

 

o   Conspiracy to defraud has THREE requirements:

 

1.      An agreement to defraud; i.e. cause/risk economic loss AND/OR deceive a public official into acting against his duty.

2.      Intention to defraud

3.      Dishonesty (Ghosh test)

NO NEED TO SHOW ACTUAL ECONOMIC LOSS, NOR NEED TO SHOW DECEPTION, FALSE REPRESENTATION (Authority for this is in Wai Yu Tsang v R)

o   Conspiracy to defraud example:-

·         Wai Yu Tsang v R [1991]:

·         D, chief accountant, convicted of defrauding bank

·         He agreed with others to not enter dishonoured cheques on the records of the bank

·         The trial judge's direction (Privy council agreed)- for conspiracy to defraud, no desire to cause loss on the part of the defendant need be shown, it being sufficient that he had imperilled the economic or proprietary interests of another party.

Conspiracy to defraud was not abolished in Fraud Act 2006.

 

·         Statutory Conspiracy: To commit any other offence

o   What Statute covers conspiracy?

Ø  Criminal Law Act 1977

 

·         What is a conspiracy?  

o   A conspiracy takes place where two or more people come to a firm agreement that they (or, at least one of them) will engage in conduct that amounts to a criminal offence. IMPORTANT: MUST BE MEETING OF THE MINDS, TWO PEOPLE OR MORE. NOT SIMPLY ONE PERSON ALONE.

·         When is conspiracy commited?

o   As soon as an agreement is made, nothing needs to be done in pursuit of agreement

o   O’Hadmaill [1996]:

Ø  IRA members to carry out bombings on the condition if the ceasefire ended in NI

Ø  Convicted of conspiracy to cause explosions

Ø  HELD: Conviction Upheld- C/A held that a ‘condition’ does not rule out the fact that agreement had been made

HOWEVER

·         Reed [1982]- Lord Lane gives examples in judgment where condition may/may not be conspiracy;

1.      A & B wish to drive from London to Edinburgh, arrive at decent time without exceeding speed limits, UNLESS the traffic is

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