Murder is the unlawful killing of a human being under the Queen's peace with malice aforethought, express or implied 

express = intention to kill 

implied = intention to cause GBH 

Lord Coke in 17th Century

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Actus Reus

An unlawful killing within the Queen's peace

Killing can be by an act or an omission 

Victim must be alive - not a foetus or already dead

Causation - D must have caused V's death 

R v Gibbins and Proctor (1998)

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Mens Rea

Intention to kill or intention to commit GBH 

Intent can be direct or indirect -

Death or GBH was a virtual certainty of Ds actions

D appreciated that this was the case

R v Nedrick (1986)

R v Woollin (1998)

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Judge had to impose a mandatory life sentence 

Judge will decide the minimum term the defendant has to serve in prison before release on parol 

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Foresight of consequences

Only evidence of intention:

Members of the jury should be directed that they cannot find the necessary intention unless they feel sure that the death or serious injury was a virtual certainty as a result of D's actions and that D appreiciated this was the case. 

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