INTRODUCTION to shoot him, taken careful aim
INTRODUCTION Inchoate offences are incomplete offences.
The parties involved may well have desired that a crime should go ahead, but circumstances could prevent this. For example , an offender may have planned to murder another ,he may have raised the gun to shoot him, taken careful aim but then ,for some reason ,the gun does not fire. Thus in this instance, the offender would be charged with attempted murder.
ATTEMPT TO COMMIT A CRIMEIn our laws, attempt is defined at section 400 of the Penal code as;-when a person, intending to commit an offence, begins to put his intention into execution by means adapted to its fulfilment, and man. Freaks his intention by some overt act , but does not fulfil his intention to such an extent as to commit the offences, he is deemed to attempt to commit the offences. THE ACTUS REUS OF ATTEMPT Where the party “does an act the commission of the offence”. The law makes a clear distinction therefore between acts which are undertaken merely to prepare for the crime in question and acts done after this time which will amount to an attempt.
The court of Appeal in Davey v Lee 1968 1QB 366 took the view that it had to be “a step towards the commission of the specific crime, which is immediately and not merely remotely connected with the commission of it “. In DPP v Stone house 1978 ac 55, the house of Lords approved of the early description in Eagleton (1855) Dears 315 that “Acts remotely leading towards the commission of the offence are not to be considered as attempts to commit it ; but acts immediately connected with it are “. Their lordship therefore decided that “the offender must have crossed the Rudican and burnt his boat”.The meaning of more than merely preparatory in Jones 1990 1 WLR 1057, the court of Appeal agreed that the acts of obtaining the gun ,shortening it, loading it, putting on a disguise and going to the school were merely preparatory to the commission of offence but added that “once he had got into the car, taken out the loaded gun and pointed it at the victim with the intention of killing him, there was sufficient evidence for the consideration of the jury on the charge of attempted murder “. The appeal therefore, was dismissed. In other cases, the matter is less clear-cut.
n Gullefer 1199 3ALLE882, Lord Lane decided that the attempt could not be said to begin until the defendant embarked upon the crime proper . Gullefer,s actions when he jumped onto the track, therefore ,were merely acts in preparation for the later crime of theft and ,at that time he could not be said to be guilty of an attempt. The decisions in the case of Campbell 199193 cr.
App Rep 350 AND Geddes 1996160jp697, are rather more disquieting. Both conviction however ,were quashed on appeal on the finding that the acts were not more than merely, preparatory .While the appeal court appeared to be convinced that the defendants had necessary intention to commit the crimes in question, they nevertheless felt bound to conduct that the action were not advanced enough to merit a conviction. The court of appeal took a more robust approach in Attorney General’s Reference (no 1 of 19992,1993 and decided that a defendant could be found guilty of rape without the need to show that he had tried to penetrate the woman’s vagina, provided that there was enough other evidence of attack. THE MENS REA OF ATTEMPTThis consists of an intention to bring about an offence.
A person will be guilty of attempt if “with intent to commit an offence”, he does an act which is more than merely preparatory to its commission. In relation to the attempt to commit the actual crime, reckless behaviour is not sufficient to incur liability ,as in Millard and Vernon198776QB1, the court of Appeal said that intention meant : a decision to bring about in so far as it lies within the accused’s power ,the commission of the offence which it is alleged the accused attempted to commit ,no matter whether.