The prosecutor appealed against a ruling that the prosecution was an abuse of process, the defendant having said that the police officer had entrapped him into committing the offence of supplying a Class A drug. A police undercover drugs operation was in progress in the North West of England in the course of which M had been targeted by an undercover officer. A ‘bond of trust and friendship had been cultivated’, and the officer had bought alcohol for M in shops from which M had been banned. The officer knew that M was an addict who would have sources of supply, but he had never been convicted of supplying drugs. He asked M where he could source some ‘white’ in the town centre of Blackburn. M mentioned a dealer and the two telephoned him. M ordered a wrap of white and a wrap of brown for the officer: a car drove up, M obtained the wraps and handed them to the officer. This was the only deal in question.
Held: The appeal succeeded.
Stanley Burnton LJ said: ‘there is no significant distinction between the assumed facts of the present case and the facts of Loosely. It is an inherent aspect of any undercover police operation that the undercover police officer insinuates himself into the confidence of those involved in the criminal conduct at which the operation is directed. For an officer who has so insinuated himself to offer an opportunity to a defendant to commit a criminal offence, in the absence of persuasion or pressure or the offer of a significant inducement, will not generally result in its being an abuse of the process to prosecute the person who takes that opportunity to commit an offence.’
It would have been sensible for the judge to do as suggested and to have first heard the evidence of the police officer involved.
Stanley Burnton LJ, Eady, Foskett JJ
 EWCA Crim 648
Criminal Justice Act 2003 58
England and Wales
Applied – Regina v Looseley (orse Loosely); Attorney General’s Reference No 3 of 2000 HL 25-Oct-2001
Police Entrapment is no defence to Criminal Act
The defendant complained of his conviction for supplying controlled drugs, saying that the undercover police officer had requested him to make the supply.
Held: It was an abuse of process for the police to go so far as to incite a crime.
Cited – Regina v Harmes and Another CACD 9-May-2006
The appellant Harmes ran a public house and was suspected of involvement in the distribution of Class A drugs and money laundering. An undercover police operation was launched and approved which lasted approximately 3 months. One of the undercover . .
Cited – Regina v Moore and Another CACD 13-Feb-2013
The appellants said that they had been entrapped into committing the offences of which they stood convicted. Their applications for stay on the ground of abuse of process had been rejected.
Held: The appeal failed.
Rix Lj said: ‘the . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Updated: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.430666