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One transaction principle
In this instance, the Mens Rea occurs first, and then the actus reus comes in at a later point.
This case is a key case in Unlawful Act Manslaughter as it gives us the 'dangerouseness test'. D and a woman went to his van to have sex, he was unable to satisfy her and she became angry and slapped his face. During the fight that followed D knocked the woman unconscious; thinking the woman was dead he panicked and dragged the body out of the van and dumped her in a nearby river. In fact, she was alive at the time but then drowned in the river. Held - Unlawful Act Manslaughter.
Ds attempted to kill victim by beating him over the head and then threw what they thought was a dead body over the cliff he actually was still alive and only died from the fall and exposure. AR and MR should happen together but the courts said it was one transaction and Ds liable.
The actus reus happens first, then the mens rea comes in later to establish liability for a crime.
D was charged with rape. His defence was at the time he penetrated the woman he thought she was consenting; however he did not withdraw when he realised she was not consenting.The court held that the Actus Reus of the rape was a 'continuing act' and he formed the MR when he was aware she wasnt consenting and didn't stop.
D told by police to park his car close to the kerb and in doing so accidently drove his car on to the policemans foot. The PC shouted to get off his foot and the D replied F*** you you can wait and turned off the engine. It was held that despite the MR occuring after the AR it was in fact one continuous act; appeal dismissed.
The Mens Rea can be transferred to a different victim
The D aimed a blow at someone with his belt. The belt hit a woman standing nearby she was seriously injured. D was liable.
Transferred malice. In this case a youth pushed into a post office queue, which consisted mainly of pensioners picking up their weekly payment. An elderly gentleman told the youth off. The youth pushed the gentleman over and he fell into an 83 yr old woman. The woman was taken to hospital with a broken limb where she subsequently died. D's charge for unlawful act manslaughter was upheld. (unlawful act - assault and battery)
D was involved in a fight outside a pub in Wolverhampton. A crowd of about 40-50 people were involved in a fight - D moved away from the group and threw a large stone in the direction of the others. The stone missed them and smashed a large window. He was convicted of malicious damage but his conviction was quashed. He did intend to throw a stone at the people but did not intend to break a window.
Examines acquittals to look at how the law is being applied. The verdict cannot be changed but the law can be amended for future use. An area which has a great deal of these cases shows an area in which the law can be difficult to establish for the prosecution [Good A02 points for an essay]
A-G Ref - No 3 of 1994
The D stabbed his girlfriend who was to his knowledge between 22 and 24 weeks pregnant with their child. The girlfriend underwent an operation for a cut in her uterus but at that time it was not realised that the foetus had also been damaged.The baby girl was born prematurely and because of that later died. Prior to the baby's death D had been charged with intent to cause GBH; after the baby's death he was also charged with her murder. The judge directed the jury to acquit. The A-G referred the case to the CA to clarify the law. Finally the HL directed that this was stretching the principal too far and the doctrine of 'transferred malice' could not be applied.