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Section 18 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861 Definition By s 18, it is an offence to ‘maliciously . . wound or cause any grievous bodily harm . . with intent to do some grievous bodily harm’. 49 Cavendish LawCards: Criminal Law Summary of non-sexual offences START Did the victim suffer serious injury? Yes Did D intend to cause a serious injury? No Did D either intend to wound or foresee some physical harm? No No Did the victim suffer any hurt or injury likely to interfere with health or comfort?

Common law conspiracy Section 5(2) and (3) of the Criminal Law Act 1977 preserves two forms of common law conspiracy: conspiracy to defraud and conspiracy to corrupt public morals or outrage public decency. Conspiracy to defraud Many fraudulent activities will constitute substantive criminal offences and an agreement to engage in them could be charged as a statutory conspiracy. However, some fraudulent activities may not amount to a substantive offence. An agreement to engage in this kind of activity cannot be charged as a statutory conspiracy, but may well result in a conviction for common law conspiracy to defraud.

26 2 Inchoate offences and participation Actus reus The actus reus of a statutory conspiracy consists of an agreement on a ‘course of conduct’ that will necessarily involve the commission of an offence. It appears that merely talking about the possibility of committing an offence is not sufficient to constitute an agreement (R v O’Brien (1974)). Section 1(1), para (b) of the Criminal Law Act 1977 makes it clear that, as far as statutory conspiracy is concerned, the fact that the agreement is impossible to carry out is no bar to liability (impossibility may still be a defence to a charge of common law conspiracy).

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