An accessory is a person who, though not present where a crime is committed, assists the offender in committing an offence. The assistance may come either before e.g. by giving an offender a piece of information which helps him to commit the offence or after the commission of the offence which may come by helping the offender to escape from being caught. So a person may be an accessory before the fact or accessory after the fact (“fact” is used here to mean an offence).


An accessory is not a conspirator because he does not take part in the planning of the crime.
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