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Smith, Hogan, and Ormerod's Criminal Law

Smith, Hogan, and Ormerod's Criminal Law (16th edn)

David Ormerod CBE, QC (Hon) and Karl Laird
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date: 02 December 2023

p. 2487. Assistance after the offencelocked

p. 2487. Assistance after the offencelocked

  • David OrmerodDavid OrmerodProfessor of Criminal Justice, University College London, Barrister, Bencher of Middle Temple, Door Tenant at Red Lion Chambers
  •  and Karl LairdKarl LairdStipendiary Lecturer and Tutor in Law, St Edmund Hall, Oxford, Barrister, 6KBW College Hill


This chapter examines the statutory offences under the Criminal Law Act 1967 of assisting an offender. Examples include hiding a principal offender, helping a principal offender to avoid arrest or to abscond from bail, lying to the police to protect the principal offender from investigation and prosecution, hiding the weapon used by the principal offender in committing the assault/robbery and washing clothes worn by the principal offender to obstruct any potential forensic examination. In addition to the fact that the offender must have committed a relevant offence, another element in the actus reus where an offender is charged with impeding the apprehension or prosecution of the offender is that the accused must have done ‘any act’ with the appropriate intent. An attempt to commit this offence does not amount to criminal liability.

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