as law - unit 2 - criminal liability - transferred malice and contemporaneity rule

ravision cards on transferred malice and contemporaneity rule :)

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Transferred Malice

Transferred malice is when the defendants mens rea is transferred from the intended victim to the actual victim.

E.G - by shooting at someone and missing and hitting another person.  or                by hitting a person and knocking them into another person of whom you did not mean to hit. 

Mitchell (1983) - argument in post office queue - D pushed old man, fell into old woman - she died from injuries in hospital. (D was liable as she was injured as a direct result of his actions - mens rea was transferred)

Saunders (1573) - Put arsenic into apple for wife - daughter ate it & died.

Latimer (1886) - D went to hit man infront with his belt - caught eye of woman next to him.

You cannot transfer malice if the mens rea is different!!!

Pembilton (1874) -threw stone into crowd of people to make them all move - hit window & broke it - did not have the mens rea to break a window only to disperse crowd and hit a person .. NOT LIABLE 

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Contemporaneity rule

Actus reus and mens rea must occur at the same time. - a person cannot be guilty of a crime if he performs an act that causes a previously desired result

Fagan v MPC (1969) - Defendant accidentally stooped car on policemans foot -when asked to remove he said 'f**k of you can wait'.- courts said he had actus reus but no mens rea when he did it but had mens rea when he refused to move the car he had mens rea.

By treating a series of acts of ommissions asa continuous act = actus reus & mens rea at same time = liable

Thabo meli (1954) - D hit victim oer head to kill him - thought he was dead threw him over cliff - later died of exposure

Church (1966) - Victim had gone to van with D for sexual purposes - knecked her out when he made fun of him - thought she was dead - threw her into river - she drowned.

he argued -only liable for diposing dead body as mens rea eneded when he though she was dead - courts included it until she drowned

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its good but a few spelling mistakes made it confusing to read, but i had trouble with the comtemporaneity rule i understand it abit better now thanks

Bethan Goy


lol sorry about the spelling mistakes .. :L 



I thought you could transfer malice if the Mens Rea was different, but you cannot transfer malice if the crimes were different (if the actus reus was different)

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