R v Parker

JurisdictionEngland & Wales
Judgment Date21 February 1969
Judgment citation (vLex)[1969] EWCA Crim J0221-1
Docket NumberNo. 6009/68
CourtCourt of Appeal (Criminal Division)
Date21 February 1969

[1969] EWCA Crim J0221-1



Royal Courts of Justice


Lord Justice Davies

Mr. Justice Lyell


Mr. Justice Donaldson

No. 6009/68

Ellen Jean Parker

MR. M.T. WARRINGTON appeared on behalf of the Appellant.


For the reasons set out hereafter, this Court on the 14th February allowed the appeal of Ellen Jean Parker against her conviction at Middlesex Sessions for the theft of one pair of tights.


Eleanor Overy and the Appellant, both of whom were aged 17, were indicted for larceny contrary to Section 2 of the Larceny Act, 1916, the particulars being that "Eleanor Overy and Ellen Jean Parker on the 8th day of July 1968, in Greater London, did steal two pairs of tights, the property of Tesco Limited". Miss Overy pleaded 'Guilty' and was placed on probation for two years. The Appellant pleaded 'Not guilty'.


The prosecution case was that both girls went to the nylon counter in Tesco Stores, Greenford, and Miss Overy was seen to take some tights and conceal them under her cardigan. Both girls left the shop but were brought back to the Manager's office where Miss Overy produced a pair of tights. The Appellant also produced a pair of tights from the waistband of her trousers and threw them down on the floor in a corner of the office.


In the course of his summing up, the learned Deputy Chairman said that it had occurred to him and also to Counsel that a possible conclusion on the evidence was that there had been no joint enterprise, but rather "two separate pieces of private enterprise". He then directed the jury as a matter of law that if they came to that conclusion they might still find the Appellant guilty of the offence. He asked them, if they found the Appellant guilty, to bring in a special verdict stating whether they found her guilty of being jointly concerned or whether they found her guilty of independently stealing one pair of tights.


The jury found the Appellant guilty and, in response to a question by the Clerk of the Court "Do you find her guilty of stealing two pairs of tights or one pair of tights?" replied "One pair of tights".


Mr. Gardner submitted that the learned Deputy Chairman should not have directed the jury that, upon a joint indictment for stealing, the Appellant could be convicted if she stole independently of her co-accused, that is to say, otherwise than as part of a joint enterprise, and he relied upon Reg. v. Scaramanga (1963)2 Queen's Bench 807 at page 814. That case decided, to quote the passage relied upon, that "except where provided by statute, when two persons are jointly charged with one offence judgment cannot stand against both of them on a finding that an offence has been committed by each independently." He also submitted that Section 6 (3) of the Criminal Law Act, 1967, had no application to the facts of this case. Finally he submitted that it was not apparent whether the jury had found that (i) the Appellant stole one pair of tights independently of her co-accused or (ii) the two girls jointly stole one pair or (iii) two pairs were stolen in a joint enterprise, each girl stealing one pair.


Mr. Cassel, for the Crown, agreed that Section 6 (3) of the Criminal Justice Act, 1967, had no application. The sub-section provides that "where, on a person's trial on indictment … the jury find him not guilty of the offence charged in the indictment, hut the allegations in the indictment amount to or include (expressly or by implication) an allegation of another offence falling within the jurisdiction...

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10 cases
  • R v Merriman
    • United Kingdom
    • House of Lords
    • 19 July 1972
    ...accused who was before them had acted in concert with his brother. Applying the decisions in Reg. v. Scaramanga [1963] 2 Q.B. 807 and in Reg. v. Parker [1969] 2 Q.B. 248 the Court of Appeal “although with the utmost reluctance” felt obliged to allow the appeal and to quash the conviction on......
  • R v Rowlands
    • United Kingdom
    • Court of Appeal (Criminal Division)
    • 16 November 1971
    ...courts? 12 It is suggested that authority is to be found in the cases of R. v. Scaramanga, reported in 1963 2 Queen's Bench at page 807, R. v. Parker, reported in 1969 2 Queen's Bench at page 248 and R. v. Merriman reported in 1971 2 Weekly Law Reports at page 1453. An examination of those ......
  • R v Merriman
    • United Kingdom
    • Court of Appeal (Criminal Division)
    • 17 May 1971
    ...by the Court of Criminal Appeal in the case of Scaramanga, in 1963 reported in 47 Criminal Appeal Reports at page 213, and by this Court in Parker, reported in 1969 53 Criminal Appeal Reports at page 289. We understand that unfortunately neither decision was cited 10 Scaramanga was a case w......
  • R v Lillis
    • United Kingdom
    • Court of Appeal (Criminal Division)
    • 15 May 1972
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