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Connah Greenhalgh

An introduction to criminal law
In order for a person to be found guilty of a crime it is necessary for the prosecution in the majority of cases
to prove 2 elements, the Actus Reus and the Mens Rea

The Actus Reus is the "doing part" of any…

Page 2

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Connah Greenhalgh

D left crossing gate open; this led to a carter being killed by a train. D had a duty to close the
gate (owed to the railway rather to the public) but it was enough that failure to act could
lead to a conviction, Guilty of gross negligence…

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Connah Greenhalgh

instead of using the Latin phrase "De minimis", it was acceptable to tell the just that it must be more
than a slight or trifling link. The Court of Appeal upheld D's conviction for causing death by
dangerous driving.

Chain of Causation
This is a chain of events…

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Connah Greenhalgh

was a break in the chain of causation. This is seen as exceptional circumstances but hasn't
been overruled.
3. You must take your victim as you find him ­ "thin skull " rule
If there are particular circumstances about the victim which D is not aware off,

Page 5

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Connah Greenhalgh

There are 2 elements;

1. D took an unjustified risk
2. An awareness by D that they are taking a risk

The subjective test comes from

R v Cunningham (1957)

Cunningham entered an empty bed sitter in order to steal money from the gas meter. When he ripped…

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Connah Greenhalgh

rea was that he thought she was already dead. , the court said the whole event was in the "same series of
AR's and MR's and he was guilty.

In Fagan v MPC (1969) Continuing Act Theory

A police officer ordered D to park to park his car…

Page 7

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Connah Greenhalgh

Justification for Strict liability/ Reasons for S/L
1. Protecting Public interest :SL offences help protect society by regulation of activities "involving
potential danger to public health , safety or morals" case examples ­ Smedley Peas
2. SL promotes greater care over those activities mentioned above by encouraging higher…


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