Regina v Roberts: CACD 1987

The court considered the situation which arose when the cases against two defendants charged with conspiracy diverged.
Held: ‘Our reading of the relevant passage in the judgment of Longman’s case really comes to this. When a judge has to sum up in a conspiracy case, involving only two accused, he has to make up his mind, on the evidence, whether or not it is possible, as a matter of law, for one of the accused to be convicted and the other acquitted. That must necessarily be a matter for the judge to decide. Once he has decided it, he must direct the jury accordingly. When he comes to decide it, a factor he should keep in mind is whether the two cases are different to a substantial degree; but that is a matter for his assessment and not for the jury’s. If it were otherwise, there would be a danger of the jury becoming confused by being invited consider two different approaches to their task. Confusion is liable, in the experience of this court, to lead to inconsistent verdicts.’


Lawton LJ


[1987] 78 Cr App R 41


England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedTestouri, Regina v CACD 2-Dec-2003
The appellant challenged his conviction for conspiracy, saying that where only two parties were alleged to have been involved, differing verdicts could not be returned.
Held: The appeal was allowed. ‘In any case where what is alleged is a . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 07 May 2022; Ref: scu.234974