Mens Rea

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  • Mens Rea
    • Intention
      • Direct intent
        • R V Mohan - 'a decision to bring about a prohibited consequence'
      • Oblique/indirect intent
        • The aim of the D is something different to the actual consequence
          • R V Woollin - virtual certainty test
            • Is the consequence a virtual certainty of the Ds actions?
              • Did the D realise is was a virtual certainty?
            • Answer yes to both = evidence upon a jury can find intention (Matthews and Alleyne)
    • Recklessness
      • Defined as where the D realised there is a risk but decides to take the risk anyway (R V Cunningham)
    • Transferred Malice
      • Where the D intended to commit a similar offence against one person but instead commits it against another
        • Latimer - D went to hit man with his belt, it hit a woman instead - guilty because similar offences
        • Pemblition - D threw stones into a crown and they hit a window - not guilty because offences are different
    • Strict Liability
      • The D is guilty of an offence simply for committing the actus reus, there is no need for a mens rea
        • Shah - newsagents guilty of employee selling lottery ticket to 13 year old
        • Sweet V Parsley - D not guilty of students smoking cannabis in her farmhouse as mens rea was needed
      • Advantages
        • Ds are convicted easier - Smedleys V Breed (caterpillar)
          • Disadvantages
            • Unjust decisions - Stork Wain (pharmacist)
            • Ds who are not personally at fault are found guilty - Shah
            • Some fines are severe - Gammon
        • Public is better protected : Gammon (digging house)
          • Merely regulatory and punishable only by fine - Ds dont go to prison
    • Coincidence of Actus Reus and Mens Rea
      • D is guilty if the actus reus and mens rea happen at the same time
      • Fagan - (policemans foot) - continuing act
      • Thabo-Meli - act of beating him and throwing him off a cliff was a continuous act (mens rea)

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