R v Bainbridge [1960] 1 QB 129

Key point

  • To be guilty of aiding and abetting, the accessory must have knowledge of the intention of the principal to commit an offence of the type of offence that was actually committed


  • A bank was broken into by means of oxygen cutting equipment, sold by D
  • D was charged with being an accessory
  • D admitted that he had suspected that the equipment was wanted for something illegal but denied that he had knowledge that it was to be used for any such purpose as it was used
  • The judge directed to the jury to convict if they were satisfied that D had knowledge of the intention to commit the type of crime that was committed
  • D appealed on the basis that the judge had wrongly directed the jury


  • Must D know the particular location and date at which the break in would be committed?

Held (Court of Criminal Appeal)

  • Appeal dismissed; knowledge of the particular location and date of the crime is not required

Lord Parker CJ

  • The judge was correct in directing that it is sufficient to show knowledge of the intention to commit a crime of the type which was committed, and something done, with that knowledge, to help in the commission of the crime
  • It is not necessary to show knowledge of particular crime, meaning the particular date and premises concerned
  • Suspicion but not knowledge of the type of offence intended to be committed is insufficient