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Chapter

David Ormerod and Karl Laird

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.

Chapter

David Ormerod and Karl Laird

A person who aids, abets, counsels or procures another to commit an offence is criminally liable and known as an ‘accessory’ or a ‘secondary party’. This chapter focuses on the basis of their liability, the distinction between accessories and principals, how secondary liability differs from inchoate liability, the principal offender, innocent agency, the accessory’s actus reus, whether an omission is sufficient and whether mere presence at the crime is enough. The chapter discusses the Supreme Court decision in Jogee, examining problems of ‘joint enterprise liability’, issues of terminology, the significance of the doctrine of joint enterprise in murder and why the Supreme Court characterized it as involving a ‘wrong turn’. It also deals with withdrawal by a secondary party before the principal offender commits the crime, victims as parties to crime and instigation by law enforcement officers for the purpose of entrapment.