Murder is a common law crime and is defined as the unlawful killing of a human being, under the queens peace with malice aforethought.
MURDER; ACTUS REUS
Actus reus of murder is ‘the unlawful killing of a human being under the Queens peace’
5 Omissions will be sufficient for the Actus reus, as the person has a duty to act.
1. Contractual Duty – pittwood
2. Duty because of a relationship – Gibbins and Procter
3. Duty taken on voluntarily – Stone and Dobinson
4. Duty because of creation of danger – Miller
5. Duty through ones official position - Dytham
MURDER; ACTUS REUS #2.
In order to be criminally liable, D must not only have attacked V in some way, bu also caused V’s death. We must show causation in fact, and causation in law.
· Causation in Fact – But for – Pagett
· Causation in Law – Courts consider whether D’s actions were a significant cause of V’s death, or was there an intervening act which broke the chain of causation. – R v Blaue
Thin Skull Rule – where the intervening contribution or cause of death is a pre-existing weakness, D will still be liable for the more serious consequences.