People are often charged as a party to an offence for being present when another person commits the offence.
To be liable as a party, it is necessary for the prosecution to establish each person’s criminal responsibility by classifying their level of participation, followed by proving there was a ‘common intention’ to commit the offence.
EXAMPLE: if 3 people are present at a place but only 1 person performs an act constituting murder, all persons present may be charged with murder, depending on their level of participation.
A person may be excused where they can raise facts showing they were merely present at the time of the offence and did not participate.
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