R v Woods

JurisdictionEngland & Wales
Judgment Date17 October 1968
Judgment citation (vLex)[1968] EWCA Crim J1017-2
CourtCourt of Appeal (Criminal Division)
Docket NumberNo. 2647/68
Date17 October 1968

[1968] EWCA Crim J1017-2



Royal Courts of Justice


Lord Justice Phillimore

Mr. Justice Hinchcliffe


Mr. Justice O'Connor

No. 2647/68

Patrick Thomas Woods

MR. S. LAMBERT appeared on behalf of the Appellant.

MR. J. CLAY appeared on behalf of the Crown.


This appellant appeared at Brighton Quarter Sessions on the 18th April of this year. He was indicted with two counts of breaking and stealing and the jury acquitted him on both counts. The Deputy Recorder asked them for a verdict on receiving as an alternative to the first count, and on this the jury convicted. He was sentenced to two-and-a-half years' imprisonment.


The appellant appeals with leave of the single Judge both against conviction and against sentence. So far as conviction is concerned two points are taken:- (1) It is said that in the absence of a count specifically charging receiving the Court had no power to convict of it. (2) The Deputy Recorder misdirected the jury on the necessary ingredient of knowledge at the time of receiving that the goods had been stolen.


As to sentence it is contended that even in the case of a man with a bad record, as indeed the appellant had, thirty months was excessive for receiving a second-hand suit with a spare pair of trousers. (Although other articles were referred to in the indictment only this clothing was found at the appellant's house).


We heard this appeal on Thursday, 3rd October and at its conclusion quashed the appellant's conviction stating that we would give our reasons at a later date. It is unnecessary in the circumstances to say more with regard to sentence than that no Member of this Court would have passed a sentence in excess of eighteen months.


Turning to conviction:- Learned counsel were agreed on two points:- first that prior to the coming into effect of the Criminal Law Act 1967 the appellant could not have been convicted of receiving in the absence of a count in the indictment expressly charging him with this offence. Secondly, that the question must therefore turn on the wording of Section 6(3) of that Act which came into force on the 1st January of this year. They were also agreed that the question was a difficult one on which there was no authority.


The first count of the indictment read as follows:-"… in that you, on or about the 16th day of January 1968, in the County Borough of Brighton in the County of Sussex, broke and entered the office of the Royal Air Force Careers Information Centre and stole a jacket" and so on. The relevant words of Section 6(3) of the Criminal Law Act are as follows:- "Where, on a person's trial on indictment … the jury find him not guilty of the offence specifically charged in the indictment, but the allegations in the indict- merit amount to or include (expressly or by implication) an allegation of another offence falling within the jurisdiction of the court of trial, the jury may find him guilty of that other offence or of an offence of which he could be found guilty on an indictment specifically charging that other offence."


It seems to this Court impossible to say that the allegations in Count 1 expressly include the offence of receiving. Do they do so by implication? In the argument presented to us it was suggested that a successful theft normally results in someone else receiving the stolen goods. Moreover, the successful thief gets possession and knows only too well that the goods have been stolen. It was also suggested that reference should be made to the extended provisions in regard to receiving contained in Section 4(7) of the Criminal Law Act 1967 and also to Section 22 of the...

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11 cases
  • Haughton v Smith
    • United Kingdom
    • House of Lords
    • 21 November 1973
    ...combined provisions of the Criminal Appeal Act, 1968, s. 3 and the Criminal Law Act, 1967, c. 6(3) and (4). See, for instance, Woods [1969] 1 Q.B. 447; Springfield [1969] 53 Cr. App. R. 608, which I am inclined to think establish that an alternative verdict under s. 6(3) would not have been......
  • R. v. G.R., (2005) 337 N.R. 1 (SCC)
    • Canada
    • Canada (Federal) Supreme Court (Canada)
    • 22 July 2005
    ...(1960), 130 C.C.C. 285 (Que. Q.B.), refd to. [paras. 32, 57]. R. v. Kay, [1958] O.J. No. 467 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 32]. R. v. Woods, [1969] 1 Q.B. 447 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 35]. Cullen v. R., [1949] S.C.R. 658, refd to. [para. 41]. R. v. Rinnie, [1970] 3 C.C.C. 218 (Alta. C.A.), refd to......
  • R v Lillis
    • United Kingdom
    • Court of Appeal (Criminal Division)
    • 15 May 1972
  • R v Parker
    • United Kingdom
    • Court of Appeal (Criminal Division)
    • 21 February 1969
    ...on an indictment specifically charging that other offence." 8 The scope of this sub-section was recently considered by this Court in Reg. v. Woods (1968) 3 Weekly Law Reports 1192 and it was said that "No court should be encouraged to cast around to see whether somehow or other the words of......
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