R v Galliano (1996) Unreported

Murder – Equal Liability for principal offender and secondary parties

Facts

G was charged with the murder of his wife, A. There was evidence that either G killed A himself, or that a killer carried out the murder on behalf of G. G was convicted under the principle that there is equal liability for murder whether G was in fact the principle offender or was the secondary party who solicited another for the murder. Principle of equal liability for secondary parties as for the principle offender. G appealed.

Issue

The issue in question was whether, for the conviction of G for murder, it must be established whether G was the principal offender in murdering his wife, or whether he was the secondary offender who hired another to kill on his behalf.

Held

Following R v. Craig and Bentley (1952) The Times, 10 December, the principle in law that there will be equal punishment for both the principal offender and for the accomplice still stands. The application of the principle of equal liability for secondary parties as for the principle offender follows that the prosecution is not required to establish which of the two the accused was, so long as it is proven that the accused was one or the other. The appeal was dismissed.