Criminal Damage Aggravated

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  • Aggravated Criminal Damage s.1(2)
    • a person who without lawful excuse destroys or damages property
      • intending to destroy or damage any property or being reckless as to whether any property would be destroyed or damaged and...
        • intending by the destruction or damage to endanger the life of another or being reckless as to whether the life of another would be thereby endangered; shall be guilty of an offence
    • AG's Ref (No 50 of 2005) (Joe Boniface Andrews [2006] - D doused hostel kitchen + room in petrol and set alight, destroyed hostel, charged with Aggravated CD - reckless as to the lives of others
    • intention or reckless damage to property ONLY committed where someone intends to endanger life/reckless as to whether life would be endangered BY THAT SPECIFIC DAMAGE
      • Actus reus of aggravated wider than simple CD
        • offence can be committed where property damaged or destroyed does not belong to another but to oneself
          • if A burns his own house to defraud his insurance company the s.1(2) offence is committed if he was reckless as to whether he was putting the lives of others in danger
            • Merrick - M, contractor, with householder's written consent, removed TV before rendering safe, charged + convicted
      • Mens rea = intention or (Cunningham) recklessness
        • has to be shown that it was by the act constituting CD that A intended to endanger the other's life/reckless
          • A drops paving stone from bridge intending to hit E who is passing under on a bike, stone hits front of E's bike and she is thrown off
            • A is not guilty under s.1(2)(b) - he intends to hit E and so endanger her life, not to hit the bike and so endanger her life
            • D throws a stone at F who is riding a horse foreseeing that this will cause her to fall off and so endanger her life. Stone hits the horse who bucks and falls onto F. Both horse and F seriously injured. Is D guilty under s.1(2)?
              • horse = property; BUT stone hit F, not her property
                • reckless? - throwing stone could hit horse, reckless as to the horse being injured but to convict need proof that he was reckless as to whether F would be injured from damage to horse
                  • D did not have it in mind horse would fall on F. D must intend to endanger life BY THAT DAMAGE - the harm was not intended or foreseen in this way
                    • Steer (1987) D - worked off grudge ag. old business partner - fired shots at house with him and wife in - 2 windows hit, charged CD being reckless as to whether life was endangered, CA quashed conviction
                      • upheld by HL - had to show intentional/reckless causing of damage to property (yes) BUT ALSO intention/recklessness as to the prospect of danger to life flowing from that damage
                        • shooting was calculated to endanger life not the damage to the window - wanted to shoot them not hurt them with flying glass (should have been charged with OAP + simple CD
              • Webster - D dropped coping-stone onto passing train from bridge, passengers hit from flying debris of a carriage partially penetrated by stone
                • Conviction quashed - intention by some damage to endanger life - after Steer - D did not intend to endanger life by commission of CD but by impact of stone itself
                  • CA held since it was clear jury concluded D intended to endanger lives of passengers by penetration into carriage of stone itself he must also have been (Caldwell) reckless as to the fact that the stone might cause the roof to fall in and so endanger the lives of the passengers - foresight of probability
                    • Caldwell recklessness: reckless as to whether property is destroyed or damaged where: (1) he does an act which creates an obvious risk that property will be destroyed or damaged and (2) when he does the act he either has not given any thought to the possibility of there being any such risk or has recognised that there was some risk involved and has nonetheless gone on to do it.
                • Warwick, heard with Webster - held throwing stones at and ramming police cars were s.1(2) offences as both could cause driver to lose control as a result of the damage which D had intentionally or recklessly caused
                  • offence constituted on proof of intention/recklessness as to endangerment of life, does not have to show that D's act of damage objectively did provoke such a risk


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