Anderton v Ryan: HL 9 May 1985

The defendant was found in possession of a video recorder. She refused to name the source, but admitted that she believed it to be stolen. After it became clear that there was no evidence that it was in fact stolen, she was convicted of attempting to handle stolen goods.
Held: The 1981 Act had changed the common law position, and the mere doing of preparatory acts which, if completed would constitute an offence, was not now sufficient. A conviction was now prevented where the full offence could not follow from the preparatory acts. None of the subsections would turn what was in fact an innocent act into an offence of attempting to commit the crime, merely by virtue of the defendant’s criminal intent.
Lord Fraser of Tullybelton, Lord Edmund-Davies, Lord Keith of Kinkel, Lord Roskill
Lord Bridge of Harwich
[1985] 2 All ER 55, [1985] 2 WLR 968, [1985] AC 560, [1985] UKHL 5
Criminal Attempts Act 1981 1
England and Wales
ConsideredRegina v Collins 1864
The court considered the case of an attempt where the defendant had put his hand in another’s pocket, but the pocket was empty. The fact that the victim’s pocket was empty prevented the actor from being guilty of an attempt to pick it.
Cockburn . .
ConsideredHaughton v Smith, On Appeal From Regina v Smith (Roger) HL 21-Nov-1973
The defendant appealed against his conviction for attempting to handle stolen goods. They were to be delivered to him in a van, but the meat was intercepted and recovered by the police. The defendant argued that he should not be convicted of . .

Cited by:
OverruledRegina v Shivpuri HL 15-May-1986
The defendant had been accused of attempting to import controlled drugs, but the substances actually found were not in fact a controlled drug, though he had believed and intended them to be. He appealed saying that he should not be conviced of an . .
CitedJames, Regina v; Regina v Karimi CACD 25-Jan-2006
The defendants appealed their convictions for murder, saying that the court had not properly guided the jury on provocation. The court was faced with apparently conflicting decision of the House of Lords (Smith) and the Privy Council (Holley).
Updated: 13 October 2021; Ref: scu.180553