AS Law - Criminal

Looks into the Actus Reus, Omissions, Mens Rea, bail & sentencing.

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Actus Reus

Physical volentary act as explained in Hill v Baxter. A case for not being a physical volentary Bratty V Attorney General for Northern Ireland, as the D suffered a epilepsy, which caused him to strangle a girl. There are several types of Omissions.

Contractual Duty - Pittwood - failed to close a railroad crossing gate, causing a cart diver to get killed by a train.

Creating a dangerous situation - Miller - A drunk, homeless man in a abandoned house accidently set fire to a mattress and insead of warning other, he went to sleep in the next room.

Assumed responsibility - Gibbins & Proctor - where the middle aged sister, who suffered anorexia died in her bed. The D didnt seek medical help.

Statutory duty - Dytham - A police officer in uniform failed to help a man getting beat to death. Either by calling for backup or stopping the fihgt on his own.

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Mens Rea

The guilty thought. There are two types of intent, direct and indirect/oblique. Direct intent is when to set out to do something and know what the consequeces will be (e.g. stabbing a person could lead to them seriously injured). Indirect/oblique intent is where the consequences have not been thought through properly. A case in R v Woollin - where he threw the baby towards the cot, but missed and hit the wall killing the baby. He had successfully thrown the baby into the cot before.

Recklessness reqires the D appreciated his/her actions would create and unjustified result. A case in R v Cunningham - where during a pub fight the D repeatedly hit the V with a chair, killing the V.

Transferred malice is where the D sets out to do something (e.g punch someone), if he hit the wrong person, it is transferred mailce, as they have gone throught with the act. R v Latimer - during a argument Latimer swung his belt at someone, missed and hit someone else near by.

However, if the intended damage is done to something else (e.g. throwing a stone at a window, but hitting a person) then there is no transferred malice as shwon in R v Pembliton where the D threw a stone at a group of men he had been fighting, missed and broke a window behind them.

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Bail

Section 4 of the Bail Act 1976 gives the general right to bail, conditions and surities.

It is everyones right to be granted bail unless the court or police find a vaild objection not to grant bail, such as to protect the public, the D was already on bail when they were arrested, or theres a likelyhood of them re-offending. Bail is granted while the police make further enquires or until a court date.

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Sentencing

The main aim of sentencing is to protect the public, but it isnot the only reason. Long sentences can be used to help rehabilitate those who commit violent or serious crimes and sentencing is used as a general or individual deterrent.

Before giving a sentence, the court will look into aggrivating and mitigating factors. Agrivating factors include - previous convictions, if the V was vunerable, sexually harrasment, use of a weopan, a gang was involved, etc.

Mitigating factors can be early pleas for guilt, showing remorse, if the D is easily influenced by others, if the D is very young or old, etc.

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