Gilbert v R

JudgeBourke, P.
Judgment Date15 November 1973
Neutral CitationBS 1973 CA 8
Docket NumberNo 15 of 1973
CourtCourt of Appeal (Bahamas)
Date15 November 1973

Court of Appeal

Bourke, P.; Archer, J.A.; Hogan, J.A.

No 15 of 1973


Mr. John Henry Bostwick for the appellant.

Mr. Smith for the Crown.

Criminal Law - Conspiracy to commit armed robbery

Bourke, P.

The appellant, Wellington Gilbert, was charged with the offence of conspiracy to commit armed robbery contrary to s 89(1) and 383(2) of the Penal Code. The particulars of the offence were that he and one Thomas Ingraham sometime during the month of February or March 1972, at New Providence, did conspire together to rob the Royal Bank of Canada situate at Lyford Cay and to use a firearm in so doing.


The appellant and his co-accused, Thomas Ingraham, were convicted of the offence as charged and were each sentenced to three years' imprisonment with hard labour.


A very frequent way of proving the necessary agreement for a charge of conspiracy is by showing that the parties concerted in the pursuit of a common object in such a manner as to show that their actions must have been coordinated by arrangement beforehand (see R a Cooper and Compton [1947] 2 All ER 701 and R v. Hammersley (1958) 42 Cr App R 207). So far as proof goes, conspiracy as Grose J said in R v. Brisac (1803) 4 East 164 at 171, is generally a -

‘… matter of inference, deduced from certain criminal acts of the parties accused, done in pursuance of an apparent criminal purpose in common between them…’


Proof in the instant matter did not depend on establishing any criminal actions on the part of the accused. The prosecution set out to prove the conspiracy through inculpatory statements and Corporal Dean. There was no suggestion that the appellant's admissions implicating himself were not freely given.


It is a ground of appeal that the judge of trial failed to direct the jury adequately, but we consider that the summing up was both full and fair. It is also submitted that the case ought not to have been left to the jury on the ground that the evidence went to disclose only negotiations that had not reached the stage of agreement. But there was evidence of the clear and unequivocal confession by the appellant that he had agreed with Thomas Ingraham around the time alleged to rob the Royal Bank of Canada at Lyford Cay and in pursuance of the planning had driven with the former to Lyford Cay. The incriminating admissions of the appellant did not go merely to a negotiating with a view to achieving...

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