Regina v Courtie: HL 1984

The House considered how to frame an indictment in a case of buggery where the prescribed punishment differed depending on the particular factual ingredients.
Held: Lord Diplock said: ‘Where it is provided by a statute that an accused person’s liability to have inflicted upon him a maximum punishment which, if the prosecution are successful in establishing the existence in his case of a particular factual ingredient, is greater than the maximum punishment that could be inflicted on him if the existence of that particular factual ingredient were not established, it seems to me to be plain beyond argument that Parliament has thereby created two distinct offences, whether the statute by which they are created does so by using language which treats them as being different species of a single genus of offence, or by using language which treats them as separate offences unrelated to one another. . The statement of offence in the instant case may therefore just pass muster, provided that it is supplemented by adequate particulars of offence which give to Courtie reasonable information as to which of the particular species of offences falling within the genus buggery, was the offence with which he was charged.’


Lord Diplock


[1984] 1 All ER 740 HL(E), [1984] 2 WLR 330, [1984] AC 463


England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedRegina v Benfield; Regina v Sobers CACD 21-Jul-2003
The defendants appealed life sentences for second serious offences under s109. They had been convicted of robbery.
Held: The offence of robbery existed at the time when the 200 Act was created, and it was inconceivable that the new Act . .
CitedRegina v Bett CACD 12-Oct-1998
A conviction under section 8(b) for permitting premises to be used for the supply of controlled drugs was correct without evidence of knowledge of the particular drug supplied even though particular drugs were named in the indictments. The section . .
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 . .
CitedRegina v Grout CACD 1-Mar-2011
The defendant appealed against conviction of intentionally causing a child under the age of 13 to engage in sexual activity.
Held: The conviction was quashed. The evidence did not establish one of the essential elements for a conviction. . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Criminal Sentencing, Crime

Updated: 29 April 2022; Ref: scu.183157