Accessory before the fact - less formal synonym

Xavier da Silva

Senior Member
Hello everyone,

Considering the definition below:

A person who orders a crime to be committed.

Ex.: The Goalkeeper, Bruno, was considered the (person who ordered the crime). He got 22 years' imprisonment yesterday.

My question is: Is there a word or expression to say "person who ordered the crime" in English?

Would it be "
crime orderer"?

Thank you in advance!

  • Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    An accessory before the fact isn't necessarily the person who ordered the crime; it could for example be someone who provided the weapon or gave useful information.

    But the person who ordered the crime might be called the instigator.


    Senior Member
    Instigator sounds good for a lot of crimes, especially something like an assault or other violent attack, but if the crime were somehow sophisticated, you might use something like mastermind, brain(s), principal architect, or even chief plotter.

    In AE at least, we talk of someone being "behind a crime." You might say simply "the man/individual/whatever behind the crime.
    < Previous | Next >