As Law - Unit 2 - Criminal - mens rea

revision cards to help revise mens rea


Mens rea - Intention

Mens rea means guilty mind. You need this and actus reus to prove criminal liability.           There are 2 types of intention Direct and Oblique.

Direct intention - defendant desired the end result - R v Mohan        

Oblique intention - Was not the defendants main purpose but they knew the outcome was probable.

Moloney (1985) - soldier on leave shot step dad - used 'natural and probable test' (measures foresight of consequences)                                                          

Hancock and shankland (1985) - dropped concrete block off bridge - used natural probable test - was manslaughter because foresight of consequences is only evidence towards intention. NOT PROOF.

Nedrick (1986)  - Parrifin through letterbox - 2 part test proving oblique intent - removed natural probable test - used 'virtual certainty'.

Woolin (1999) - father threw baby - used nedrick 2 part test                    

Matthews and Alleyne (2003) - dropped victim off bridge - confirmed virtual certainty

1 of 2

Mens Rea - Recklessness

You can also prove mens rea with Recklessness. This is where the defendant takes an unjustified risk.

There are 2 types of recklessness. Objective and subjective

Subjective recklessness - Did the defendant take the unjustified risk knowingly?

R v Cunningham - man was reckless and caused illness via allowing noxious gas to seep into the neighbouring house of the gas meter from which he stole money from. 

Subjective recklessness is used for all non-fatal offences against a person

Objective Recklessness - What would the sober reasonable man do?               

For this type of recklessness we ask whether a reasonable person, rather than the defendant would have identified the risk. If the answer is yes the risk was unjustified and recklessness is shown. 

2 of 2


No comments have yet been made

Similar Law resources:

See all Law resources »See all Criminal law resources »