Criminal Homocide and Defences; Unit 3 - Notes

Notes made from the Nelson Thornes text book and resources given by my teacher.

Covers the Criminal Liability option for the scenario section of the course; Murder and Voluntary Manslaughter (Diminished Responsibility and Loss of Control), Involuntary Manslaughter (Gross Negligence Manslaughter and Unlawful Act Manslaughter) The Offences Against the Person (Assault, Battery, ABH, GBH and Wounding) and the Defences (Insanity, Automatism, Intoxication, Consent and Self-Defence)

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The unlawful killing of another human being under the Queen's Peace with Malice aforethought
`Causes' the unlawful death
The prosecution must prove beyond all reasonable doubt that D caused V's death.
`But For' test: Would have occurred (White) / Wouldn't have occurred (Pagett)
More than a trifling link between D's act and the death (Cato)
Any intervening acts: Independent, potent and unforeseeable (Chesire); Act by 3rd party
(Malcherek) / V (Roberts); Doctors usually can't be (Smith) / unless grossly negligent (Jordan)
`Thin Skull' rule: Take your victim as you find them (Blaue)
Mens Rea
Malice aforethought:
Express Malice ­ Intended to kill
Implied Malice ­ Intended to do GBH (Vickers)
At time of the killing
Voluntary Manslaughter Defences To Murder:
Diminished Responsibility
Partial defence
S52 Coroners and Justice Act 2009
Defence must prove that on the balance of probabilities D was suffering from diminished
responsibility when they killed.
At the time of the killing
Was D suffering from an abnormality of mental functioning
Which arose from a recognised medical condition
And substantially impaired D's ability to (...)
So the explanation for the killing was that (...)
Abnormality of mental functioning
A state of mind so different of that to the normal human the reasonable person would recognise it as
abnormal (Byrne) - This need not be permanent
Recognised medical condition
The condition should be grounded in valid medical diagnosis
Follows medical definition closely
The following are accepted conditions:
Paranoia (Martin)
Epilepsy (Campbell)
Depression (Seers)
Battered Women Syndrome (Ahluwalia) (Cycle of violence, Fear, Learned helplessness)

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Impaired ability
Substantially doesn't mean totally nor does it mean trivial (Lloyd)
Must impair D's ability to:
Understand the nature of their conduct
Form a rational judgement
Control their self
Provides an explanation
They must kill because they're mentally impaired, abnormality and death must be linked
The mental impairment must either cause or make a significant contribution to D's act/omission in
conjunction with other causal factors (Dietschmann)
Loss of Control
Partial defence
s54 Coroners and Justice Act 2009
The burden of proof is on the…read more

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Gross Negligence
Killing by an omission or by a lawful act done in an unlawful manner
Goes beyond a mere matter of compensation (Andrews)
Shows a disregard for the life and safety of others (Bateman)
Normal rules of duty and breach apply, if the breach is more than negligent it becomes criminal
Duty of Care
Duty of care was established by applying Lord Atkins `Neighbour Test': "Persons who are so closely
and directly affected by my act I ought to contemplate" (Donoghue v Stevenson)…read more

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The mens rea is the mens rea of the constituting offence
It's not necessary for D to realise that act is unlawful and dangerous (Newbury and Jones)
Must commit an unlawful criminal act
This means the offence must be a criminal offence: (Cite the AR and MR of the offence)
Battery (s39 Criminal Justice Act 1988) (Mitchell)
Wounding (s20 Offences Against the Person Act 1861) (Lamb)
Act must be `Dangerous'
An act can be considered dangerous if a sober and reasonable person would recognise the…read more

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Actus Reus: Causing the victim to apprehend immediate, unlawful violence
Must genuinely believe that immediate violence will be inflicted (Logdon)
Immediate doesn't mean `instant' (Smith)
Hasn't got to be physical:
Words alone can constitute (Constanza) or disband an assault (Turberville)
Silent phone calls can form an assault (Ireland)
Mens Rea: intentionally or recklessly (Cunningham)
s39 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988
Actus Reus: Unlawful application of force on to the victim
"Least touching of another in anger is a battery" (Cole v Turner)
Mens…read more

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Causing Grievous Bodily Harm with Intent
s18 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861
GBH is the degree of harm, and not the offence itself
Actus Reus: Causing the victim GBH
GBH is really serious harm (Smith) or just serious harm (Saunders)
Sufficient psychological damage can also amount to GBH (Burstow)
Mens Rea: Intention alone ­ The defendant must intent to do GBH.…read more

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Two types:
Voluntary Intoxication:
Become intoxicated by choice Crimes of specific intent (only intention)
Drunken intent is still intent (Sheehan and Moore)
Letting yourself become drunk is reckless (Majewski)
Involuntary Intoxication:
Can be used for basic intent crimes (Bailey); this includes the spiking
aaaaaaaaaaaaaa of drinks, taking prescribed drugs and taking not dangerous dugs
Not realising strength of drink doesn't make it involuntary (Allen),
aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa not knowing side effects will make it voluntary (Hardie)
Can't consent to anything over battery (Brown)
In…read more

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D is given the benefit of the doubt on what he thought was honestly and instinctively necessary
(Palmer) but the force still has to be reasonable (Owino)
A mistaken belief can still be a defence if it was both honest and reasonable (Williams)
Intoxication quashes the defence (O'Grady)
V need not flea, he can reasonably retaliate (Bird) and can before being struck (Beckford)
Special Defence ­ Verdict: `Not guilty by means of insanity' -> Left under control of courts to make a
decision (up…read more


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