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Murder


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Murder
This crime requires an actus reus of an unlawful killing, and a mens rea of malice aforethought for liability.
Malice aforethought
Mens rea for murder - at the time of the killing, D either intended to kill (referred to as express malice) or cause GBH (implied malice).
Specific Intent Crimes (SIC)
"Red" crimes which require a mens rea of either oblique or direct intent to establish criminal liability.
Direct Intent
Where D desires the consequences of his actions, e.g. shoot to kill.
Oblique Intent
D does not desire the consequences, however they were a 'virtually certain outcome' of D's actions.
Steane
D arrested during war time. He was ordered to read out news daily. Asserted he had no intention of assisting the enemy. D's conviction overturned, and he was allowed to go free.
Woollin
Leading case in this area - D killed his 3 month old son by throwing him against wall - as judge misdirected jury by using the phrase 'substantial risk' (refers to recklessness) instead of 'virtual certainty'. HoL reversed court's decision, quashed D's murder conviction and replaced it with manslaughter.
Nedrick
Authority case in this area - D set woman's house on fire, child died as a result. D appealed on the grounds of a mis-direction of the jury by the judge. Held that death or serious injury must be a virtual certainty, AND D realised this.