AS Law02 Mens Rea

All parts of mens rea:

  • definition
  • concept of intention
  • Recklessness
  • Transferred Malice
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  • Created by: Henry Ng
  • Created on: 29-05-12 14:24

Mens Rea and Intention

Mens rea - the guilty mind; needed to find criminal liability

  • Formed by either Direct or Oblique Intent

Direct intent - consequence is the the defendants desired result

  • R v Mohan (drove off from police)

Oblique intent - not defendants desired purpose but they knew of a probable outcome

  • Moloney 1985 - natural and probable test - the result was a natural and probable event.
  • Nedrick 1986 - virtual certainty test! 
    • Woolin (threw baby at pram, missed and hit wall, baby died)
    • Matthews and Alleyne (threw victim who couldnt swim off bridge)

Virtual certainty - if an action is being carried out there is a virtual certainty of a specific liable result.

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Recklessness

Recklessness - an unjustified risk taken, even with knowledge of potential dangers of actions. Comes in two forms Objective and Subjective!

Subjective - knowingly taking an unjustified risk

  • R v Cunningham (ripped gas metre off wall which resulted in gas poisoning of neighbours.
    • Used for all non fatal Offences against the people

Objective - What would a reasonable man do?

  • HARDLY USED IN CRIMINAL LAW MORE FOR TORT!
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Transferred Malice

Transferred Malice - when a defendants mens rea is transferred from the intended victim to the actual victim. Eg. shooting at someone, missing and hitting someone else.

  • Mitchell 1983 (pushed man in post office, man landed on old lady who suffered the injuries)
  • Saunders 1573 (tried to poison wife with arsenic apple but daughter ate it instead)
  • Latimer 1886 (swung belt to hit a victim, missed and hit a by stander in the eye)

CANNOT TRANSFER MALICE IF THE MENS REA IS DIFFERENT!

  • ONLY FROM PERSON TO PERSON NOT PERSON TO PROPERTY!!!
    • Pembliton 1874 (threw rock to clear crowd, missed and hit a window which broke)
      • NOT A TRANSFER MALICE!
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