mens rea

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  • Mens rea
    • Mohan (1975) - courts made it clear that D's motive or reason for doing the act not relevant
    • direct intent - D intends specific consequence to occur
    • indirect/oblique intent - D intends one thing but the actual consequence is another
    • indirect intention requires foresight of consequence
      • this means that in achieving the other thing, did D foresee that he would also also cause those consequences?
      • s.8 Criminal Justice Act 1967 creates a subjective test
        • this makes it clear foresight of consequence is only part of the evidence from which intention can be inferred
    • Recklessness
      • D knows there is a risk of the consequence  happening but takes that risk
        • subjective recklessness
          • D sees the risk and decides to run it
        • objective recklessness
          • D did not see a risk which was obvious to the reasonable man
      • Cunningham (1957) - gas meter pulled off a wall sending fumes into house next door
        • subjective - C did not intend to cause harm and had not taken known risk
      • Caldwell (1982) - fire in hotel
        • Objective - C said so drunk did not realise lives might be endangered but convicted as reasonable man would have seen risk
      • Elliot v C (1983) - girl with learning difficulties set fire to shed
        • objective - girl did not see risk and could not see it, but convicted as reasonable would have seen risk
      • G and another (2003) - boys set wheelie bin on fire causing £1m damage
        • objective - trial judge directed jury to consider whether reasonable man would have seen risk - boys convicted
        • subjective - HL quashed conviction and overruled Caldwell
      • Lidar (2000) - bouncer killed under wheels of L's car
        • subjective - L convicted as saw highly probable risk of serious injury and decided to take risk


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