Harmer v Regina: CACD 21 Jan 2005

The appellant and a co-defendant were charged with conspiracy to launder property which they had reasonable grounds to suspect was the proceeds of drug trafficking or other criminal conduct. The prosecution accepted that they could not establish that the property was the proceeds of crime, and it was not alleged that the defendants knew that it had a criminal origin. The judge did not direct the jury that it was necessary for the prosecution to prove that the money was in fact the proceeds of drug trafficking or other criminal conduct, and he was convicted.
Held: The appeal succeeded. May LJ: ‘Mr Kane’s central submission is that the statutory definition of conspiracy comprising section 1(1)(a) of the 1977 Act embraces an agreement whereby the conspirators intend and agree to commit ‘an offence or offences’. Montila decides that converting or transferring property which a defendant has reasonable grounds to suspect represents another person’s proceeds of crime is not an offence, unless the Crown also prove that the property is the proceeds of crime. The Crown, therefore, did not establish in the present case that the appellant was guilty of conspiracy under section 1(1)(a), since they did not establish that the object of the agreement was an offence. In our judgment, this is clearly a correct construction of the subsection.’


May LJ


[2005] EWCA Crim 1, [2005] Crim LR 482




England and Wales


CitedRegina 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 . .

Cited by:

CitedSaik, Regina v HL 3-May-2006
The defendant appealed aganst his conviction for conspiracy to engage in moneylaundering. At trial he pleaded guilty subject to a qualification that he had not known that the money was the proceeds of crime, though he may have suspected that it . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 30 June 2022; Ref: scu.226243