Regina v. Cogan and Leak – Case Brief
Regina v. Cogan and Leak,  QB 217.
Facts: Leak (D1) brought Cogan (D1) to his home and informed his wife that Cogan wanted to have sex with her. Leak took his wife upstairs, undressed her and put her on the bed. Cogan then came into the room. Leak twice asked his wife if she wanted to have sex with Cogan and she refused. Leak then had sex with his wife in front of Cogan. Afterward, Cogan had sex with Leak’s wife.
Leak confessed that he intended his wife be raped by Cogan. Cogan gave evidence that he thought she had consented. The trial court instructed the jury that Cogan was guilty of rape notwithstanding that he believed she had consented if his belief was unreasonable. Both men were convicted but Cogan’s conviction was quashed on the grounds that even an unreasonable belief that the victim had consented precluded a conviction for rape. Leak appealed contending that he could not be found guilty of aiding and abetting Cogan if Cogan was not guilty of the underlying offense.
Issue: Must a principle be guilty of the underlying offense in order for an accomplice to be guilty of aiding and abetting the commission of that offense?
Holding and Rule (Lord Justice Lawton): No. A principle need not be guilty of the underlying offense in order for an accomplice to be guilty of aiding and abetting the commission of that offense.
Cogan had sexual intercourse Leak’s wife without her consent and there is no doubt that Leak wanted this to happen. The fact that Cogan was found to be innocent of rape because he believed that she was consenting does not affect the position that she was raped. It is irrelevant that the man whom Leak had procured to do the physical act did not intend to have sexual intercourse with the wife without her consent.
See R. v. Brown for a criminal law case brief holding that a party may not assert consent as an affirmative defense to a charge of assault causing grievous bodily harm.