Director of Public Prosecutions v Armstrong: QBD 5 Nov 1999

The prosecutor appealed from dismissal of a case of inciting the supply of indecent photographs of children. The person said to have been incited was an incognito police officer who had no intention of making the supply. The appeal succeeded. ‘In considering whether there is a defence of impossibility the court must look carefully at what it is that the person incited has been asked to do. In this case the officer was asked to supply child pornography. The fact that he did not intend to do so is irrelevant. The request made to the police officer was in general terms for child pornography and one which he could have met from material in the police’s possession, as the findings of the magistrate made clear. The officer could therefore have committed the offence which he had been asked to commit. It cannot therefore be said that it was impossible for him to do so. ‘


[1999] EWHC QB 270, [2000] Crim LR 379




England and Wales


Updated: 08 July 2022; Ref: scu.263149