Actus Reus: Latin for "guilty act".
Physical element of crime. Each crime has own AR.
- An act (punch, kick, etc.)
- An omission
- State of affairs
Must be voluntary, Hill v Baxter: erratic driving due to heart attack of wheel.
Exception: State of Affairs case (Winzar/Larsonneur) can be convicted for involuntary acts.
Generally no liability for failing to act unless:
1) Contractual Duty- Pittwood- didn't close the gate
2) Relationship- Gibbons and Proctor- didn't feed baby daughter
3) Voluntarily- Stone and Dobinson- anorexic sister
4) Official Positions- Dytham- police officer witnessed attack
5) Dangerous Situation- Miller (smoking tramp) / Santana Bermudez (sharp objects)
Doctors withdrawing treatment is not an omission if in best interest of patient.
Bland: Stopped artificially feeding victim of Hillsborough Disaster
Part of AR. Link between D's act/omission and the consequence.
1) Factual Cause (But for test, Pagett/White)
2) Legal Cause (De minimus rule, Smith) - more than a minimal cause "operating/substantial"
Thin Skull Rule: take V as he finds them (Blaue- Jehova's Witness)
3) No Intervening Acts
- Natural but unpredictable event e.g. flood, earthquake, etc
- Acts of 3rd party e.g. Pagett
- Victim's own act e.g. Roberts/Williams - must be unreasonable/unforeseeable to break the chain of causation
- Medical treatment e.g. Jordan - rarely breaks chain of causation, only if grossly negligent
Courts are very reluctant to break the chain- must be sufficiently serious and independant
Latin for "guilty mind"
Mental element of crime. Each crime has its own MR.
Statutory offences- words that indicate MR include "knowingly" and "recklessly".
Different levels of MR- intention = highest, recklessness = lowest.
D must have at least the lowest level of MR.
Direct: aim, want and desire (Mohan)
Indirect/Oblique: consequence must be a virtual certainty. D must realise this is the case (Woolin)
Recklessness: unjustified risk taking. D must recognise the risk and take it (Cunningham)
Transferred Malice: V is someone other/in addition to the intended victim- malice is transferred (Latimer)
General Malice: no particular victim e.g. terrorists, apply intention to actual victims
Offences which don't require MR. AR is sufficient.
Usually regulatory offences. Punishments usually = fine.
Shah- sold lottery tickets to 13yr old.
Alphacell v Woodward- pollution in the river
Smedleys v Breed- caterpillar in peas
Created by statute, courts look for words to indicate whether MR is required.
If truly criminal, they must presume MR (Sweet v Parsley)
Made to protect and promote public safety, encouraging high standards of care.
Acts as a deterrent and courts can deal with them quickly as prosecution need only prove AR- most D's plead guilty.
Contemporaniety/Coincidence of AR and MR
When AR and MR do not start out at the same time, but some point in the series of events, they coincide.
D may have AR and then develop MR, or they may have MR and develop AR.
At the point that AR and MR coincide, the crime is complete..
Fagan: asked by police to pull over. Didn't realise he'd driven onto police officer's foot. When police officer asked him to move, he refused. (Drove onto foot = AR, developed MR by not moving).
Church: in back of van with woman. Couldn't perform satisfactorily. She mocked him so he beat her up until she was unconscious- he thought she was dead so he rolled her in a carpet and threw her in a river- she drowned. (MR before AR)
Assault: Common law, summary offence. 6 months sentence and/or £5000 fine.
Actus Reus = any act or words which causes the victim to fear (apprehend) immediate, unlawful personal violence.
Tuberville v Savage: words can negate an assault. "If it was not aseize time, I would not take such language from you".
Ireland: assault can be silent telephone calls.
Logdon v DPP: Doesn't matter that gun was fake.
Smith v Chief Constable of Woking Police: meaning of immediate was extended, someone looking through woman's window.
Constanza: gave definition of immediate: any time not excluding the immediate future.
Mens Rea = Intention/Recklessness as to causing the V to fear (apprehend) immediate unlawful personal violence. Direct Intention- aim, want, desire (Mohan) Recklessness- unjustified risk taking (Cunningham)
Battery: Common law, summary offence. 6 months and/or £5000 fine.
Actus Reus = application of unlawful force. Can be the slightest touch (Thomas). Force can be indirect (DPP v K - acid in the hand dryer) (Haystead- man hit woman who dropped her baby)
Mens Rea = Intention or recklessness as to the application of unlawful force. Intention- direct (aim, want, desire, Mohan) Recklessness- unjustified risk taking (Cunningham)
s.47 OAPA 1861 (ABH)
ABH: Statutory offence, triable either way offence. Maximum 5 year sentence.
Actus Reus = assault or battery occasioning ABH
Part 1: Identify the assault/battery- AR of offence
Part 2: Causation/Occasion
Part 3:Injury must = ABH. Miller- Definintion of ABH- "any hurt or injury calculated to interfere with the victim's health or comfort."
T v DPP - loss of consciousness is ABH.
DPP v Smith- can be unlawfully cutting off hair.
Chan-Fook: Can be psychological
Mens Rea = Intention/Recklessness as to assault/battery. No additional MR required (Savage- threw beer glass which slipped out of hand. Intention- aim, want, desire (Mohan) Recklessness- unjustified risk taking (Cunningham)
s.20 OAPA 1861 (GBH or Wounding)
GBH or Wounding: statutory offence, either way. Maximum 5 years.
Actus Reus = GBH or Wounding
Eisenhower- wound = anything that "breaks both layers of the skin"
DPP v Smith- GBH = "really serious harm"
Bollom: consider V- baby covered in bruises
Dica: could be biological (STIs)
Mens Rea = Intention or Recklessness as to some harm (Parmenter) Direct- aim, want, desire (Mohan) Recklessness- D recognises the risk and takes it (Cunningham)
s.18 OAPA 1861 (GBH/Wounding with intent)
GBH with intent or Wounding with intent: statutory offence, indictable. Maximum life sentence.
Actus Reus = GBH or Wounding
Eisenhower: wound "breaks both layers of skin".
DPP v Smith: GBH is "really serious harm".
Bollom: consider the V. Dica: can be biological. Burstow: psychological.
Mens Rea = Intention only to wound or cause serious harm.
Intention can be direct (aim, want, desire Mohan),
Indirect (oblique) intention- consequence must be virtually certain and D must realise that this is the case (Woollin). Or intenton to resist arrest and reckless ness as to whether some harm occurs (Morrison)
BAIL AND PROCEDURE
Summary Offences: Assault and Battery: If D pleads guilty- Mags will pass sentence, likely to be dealt with quickly- Possible adjournment if more info is needed. If D pleads not guilty, matter is adjourned for trial and witness needs to attend. Mags consider bail.
Either Way Offences: s.47 and s.20:
Plea before venue hearing: If D pleads guilty, Mags sentence him. If Mags believe he needs a high sentence, they'll send him to Crown Court.
Mode of Trial: When D pleads not guilty, Mags decide whether seriousness of offence and sentencing powers are sufficient. Consider bail until trial. If Mags accept the case, the D has the right to choose jury trial. Consider bail. Mags = 20% acquittal. Crown = 60% acquittal.
Indictable Offences: s.18: Pre-trial procedure. 1st hearing in Mags- decide bail and legal aid issues. Then sent to Crown Court.
Burden and Standard of Proof: (Applies to all). Inocent until proven guilty- burden of proof is on the prosecution who must prove D's guilt. Standard of Proof = Beyond all reasonable doubt.
- Denunciation: showing disapproval
- Rehabilitation: help and support
- Retribution: an eye for an eye
- Incapacitation: prevented from reoffending
- Deterrence: an example to other would-be offenders
- Reparation: pay back debt
Types of Sentencing
- 1) Fines (very common in Magistrates Court)
- 2) Custodial (over 21's. Under 21's go to Young Offenders) Could be suspended.
- 3) Community (unpaid work/supervision order/curfew/tagged)
- 4) Discharged (Can be conditional or absolute)
Factors Affecting Sentencing
- Group attack
- Vulnerable victim
- Previous conviction
- On bail
- Attack on grounds of sex, race, religious, sexual orientaton or disability.
- First offence
- Plead guilty
- Show remorse
- Old or very young D