Criminal Law Content Summary


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  • Criminal Law Content Summary
    • Actus Reus
      • The act for the defendant to be guilty of the crime must have been completed.
      • Defendant must have factually and legally caused the Victim's wounds
        • Causation
          • Legal
            • Was the defendant's actions the most significant contribution to the outcome?
              • If no, the defendant has not legally caused the consequence.
              • If yes, the defendant has legally caused the consequence.
            • R v Cheshire
          • Factual
            • But for the defendant's actions would the consequence have happened anyway?
              • If yes, the defendant has not factually caused the consequence.
              • If no. the defendant has factually caused the consequence.
            • R v White
          • Novus Actus Interveniens
            • Act of the Victim
              • If the victims response was not daft and was reasonable then the chain of causation cannot be broken by their act.
                • R v Roberts
            • Act of a 3rd Party
              • The act of a 3rd party will break the chain of causation unless the action was foreseeable.
                • R v Pagett
            • Medical Treatment
              • If the medical treatment was 'palpably wrong' then it will break the chain of causation.
                • R v Jordan
                • R v Malcherek & Steel
            • Reopening of Wounds
              • If the victim re opens their wounds and makes them worse it can break the chain of causation.
                • R v Dear
            • Times at which the defendant's guilt may be placed elsewhere due to 'new intervening acts'.
          • Thin Skull Rule
            • You must take the victim as you find them.
              • R v Blaue
      • Omissions
        • Failure to act. 5 exceptions to this rule.
          • Contract (Job) requires person to act.
            • R v Pittwood
          • Person voluntarily takes on a duty.
            • R v Stone & Dobinson
          • Person's public position requires them to act.
            • R v Dytham
          • Person fails to minimize the consequences of his act.
            • R v Miller
          • An Act of Parliament requires you to act.
            • Young Person's Act 1933 - failure to look after children.
      • Familial Homicide
        • If the parent of a child does not stop their partner or another adult abusing their child then they can still be held responsible for the offence.
    • Mens Rea
      • The 'guilty mindset' that the defendant must have had at the time they committed the crime.
      • Intention
        • Oblique
          • The consequence that happened was not the one the defendant intended/was accidental.
            • R v Nedrick
        • Direct
          • The defendant deliberately committed the act, usually with planning/pre meditation.
            • R v Mohan
      • Recklessness
        • When the defendant realizes and knows the risks of their actions but continues to do the act anyway.
          • R v Cunningham
      • Strict Liability
        • When some offences do not require the prosecution to prove that the defendants had Mens Rea at the time of the crime, just Actus Reus.
          • Callow v Tillstone
          • Gammon v Attorney General for Hong Kong
          • Sweet v Parsley
          • Alphacell v Woodward
        • Reasons for Strict Liability Offences
          • They act as a deterrence because people would be put off of committing the offences if they knew they could be fined or imprisoned for just doing it.
          • To protect society by promoting greater cares over matters of public safety.
          • It saves the courts time and money because guilt is determined purely on whether the act was committed or not, not the guilty mind behind it.
      • Transferred Malice
        • When the defendant injures people who weren't their initial victim.
          • R v Pembliton
          • R v Latimer
      • Rule of Contemporaniety
        • When the Mens Rea is applied to a whole series of events, not just one.
          • Fagan v MPC
          • R v Thabo Meli
    • Non Fatal Offences (OAPA 1861)
      • Section 20 (GBH)
        • Grievous Bodily Harm is 'serious harm' where the defendant has maliciously wounded (broken the continuity of the skin) the victim or caused GBH (disabilities, internal injuries)
        • AR
          • To inflict (with or without a weapon) a wound or GBH.
            • R v Eisenhower (A wound is breaking the continuity of the skin.)
            • R v Bollom (a series of injuries can amount to GBH depending upon the victims's age.)
            • R v Dica (Biological GBH)
            • R v Constanza (Severe Psychiatric Injury)
        • MR
          • To recklessly inflict a wound or GBH on any person.
            • R v Mowatt
      • Section 18 (GBH With Intent)
        • Grievous Bodily Harm with Intention is when the defendant has the direct intention to inflict with or without a weapon, GBH of any kind or wound them.
        • AR
          • To inflict a wound (with or without a wepon) or GBH on any person. (Same as S20)
        • MR
          • To intentionally cause GBH or wound (break the continuity of the skin) any person.
            • R v Belfon
      • Section 47 (ABH)
        • AR
          • An assault or battery that  occasions (causes factually and legally) ABH.
            • R v Miller
            • R v Chan Fook (Psychiatric Injury is ABH)
        • MR
          • Only the MR for an assault or batter is needed to have the MR of ABH.
          • R v Savage
        • Actual Bodily Harm is where the defendant's actions have left some form of physical wound, whether that be a scratch, minor cut or bruise, even minor fractures.
      • Common Battery
        • AR
          • To apply unlawful force upon the victim.
            • DPP v K
            • R v Martin
        • MR
          • To intend or recklessly apply unlawful force upon the victim.
            • R v Venna
        • Battery is the physical contact which the defendant has with the victim, whether it be touching their clothes/hair or hitting them.
      • Common Assault
        • An act that causes the victim to apprehend immediate personal violence.
        • MR
          • To intend or recklessly cause the victim to apprehend immediate personal violence.
            • R v Venna
        • AR
          • To cause the victim to apprehend immediate personal violence.
            • Smith v Chief Constable for Woking
            • R v Lamb
            • Logdon v DPP
    • Criminal Process
      • Aims of Sentencing
        • Rehabilitation
          • Aims to reform the offender. Educational and Counselling services are now in prisons for the offenders to use. This will also help the offenders reintegrate back into society.
        • Detterence
          • Individual
            • Aims to prevent the offender from re-offending.
          • General
            • Aims to prevent the rest of the public from ever offending.
        • Protection of Society
          • It is obvious that the public needs protecting from dangerous criminals. Therefore, the CJA 2003 allowed extended sentences to be used so that the public is protected.
        • Retribution
          • The idea that if you break the law you should be punished accordingly. ('just desserts.')
        • Reparation
          • Increasing emphasis in sentencing and on the needs and feelings of the victim, and ensuring that the offender tries to make amends. This can be done through either a compensation order or a community order which would have some kind of reparative work attached.
      • Criminal Procedures
        • EWO
          • Plea is indicated (not certain but an idea). It will be tried in either magistrates court or crown court.
            • If the plea is guilty, the magistrates decide whether they have the power to impose an appropriate sentence. When the case is sent to crown court a decision on bail will have to be made.
          • 'Mode of Trial' where the magistrates will decide whether they can deal with the case themselves or whether it needs to be sent to crown court. Even if the magistrates can deal with it, the defendant can still choose to go to crown court.
        • Summary
          • The charge is set on the first hearing, D makes plea.
            • If not guilty, a trial date will be made on the day of being charged or the case can again be adjourned for a few weeks depending on when witnesses are available. This is usually 2-3 months after the pre trial. The magistrates must also decide bail/legal aid at this time.
            • If guilty, D can be sentenced there and then or the magistartes can obtain a pre sentence report - the case would then be adjourned for 3-4 weeks.
        • Indictable
          • Dealt with in crown court - on the first hearing the charge will be read out, however the defendant is not required to make a plea until they are in crown court. The magistrates will still hear the case but they will send it directly to crown court.
            • If not guilty, the case will be adjourned and a date for trial will be set. Bail or remand will be decided and the defendant's qualification for legal aid.
            • If guilty, the judge can sentence the defendant right there and then, or they can obtain a pre sentence report.
              • A pre-sentence report is requested if the offender is going to recieve a community punishment or cutody. It is drawn up by the probation services and handed to a judge to help them pass sentence. It has information on the offender's background and behaviour and also why they committed the crime.
              • The CJA 2003 Stated that aggravating and mitigating factors must be taken into account.
                • Mitigating
                  • Factors that will decrease the defendant's sentence. E.g First time offending, if they are very young or old.
                • Aggravating
                  • Factors that will increase the defendant's sentence. E.g Previous convictions, history of violence.
      • Burden and Standard of Proof
        • Legal Burden of Proof
          • The general rule is that the prosecution must prove the elements of the offence and must disprove any faults in issues raised by the defendant's defense.
        • Standard of Proof
          • The prosecution must produce evidence to the jury to assist their decision making. The jury, to be able to find the defendant guilty, must feel/think they are so satisfied that they are sure beyond reasonable doubt.
      • Sentencing Process
        • The judge will first hear a 'plea of mitigation' where all of the factors that will decrease the defendant's sentence will be said.
        • The judge will then hear a speech outlining all of the aggravating factors that will increase the defendant's sentence.
        • The magistrates will be guided by the sentencing manual, whereas the judges will be guided by the law, e,g Crime Sentences Act 1997 or the CJA 2003. They may also be guided by previous cases of the same crime.

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