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Attempted Crimes

Attempted Crimes

Attempting to commit a crime may be an offence, even though the defendant did not succeed in committing the full offence. A criminal attempt is defined by s1(1) of the Criminal Attempts Act 1981: ‘If, with intent to commit an offence..., a person does an act which is more than merely preparatory to the commission of the offence’. The accused must have intended to commit the full crime, but not completed it. It can be difficult to decide what is ‘more than merely preparatory’. Case example - R v Campbell (1990) - The defendant had on him an imitation gun, sunglasses and a threatening note, when the police stopped him outside a post office. It was held that these were only preparatory actions and that he had not done enough to be guilty of attempting to rob the post office.


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