Mens Rea

Includes coincidence of actus reus and mens rea

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  • Mens Rea
    • Intention
      • Foresight Of Consequences
        • Evidence of intention
        • Woollin
          • Virtual Certainty
          • Defendant threw his baby towards his pram which was against a wall. The baby suffered head injuries and died.
    • Recklessness
      • Taking an unjustifiable risk
      • Cunningham
        • Defendant tore a gas meter from the wall to steal money in it. Did not realise the risk of gas escaping into the adjacent home.
        • 'Maliciously'
          • To have the necessary mens rea the defendant must either intend the consequence or realise the risk.
      • Savage
        • Confirms that the same principle applies where the act of parliament uses the word maliciously.
    • Transferred Malice
      • Latimer
        • Defendant aimed a blow at a man but hit a woman instead.
        • Can be guilty if the defendant intended to commit a similar crime.
      • Pembilton
        • Defendant may not be guilty if the mens rea is for a completely different offence.
        • Defendant threw a stone intending to hit people but hit and broke a window.
          • Intention to hit people could not be transferred to the window.
    • Coincidence
      • Continuing act
        • Fagan
      • Both the actus reus and mens rea must be present at the same time.


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