All Actus Reus, Mens Rea and Defences

  • Created by: phoebs.b
  • Created on: 02-04-18 13:18

Non-fatal Offences Against the Person

Assault

Actus Reus - the defendant does an act which causes the victim to apprehend (expect) the immediate application of unlawful violence. 

Mens Rea - the defendant intends the victim to have the apprehension referred to in the actus reus, or the defendant foresees (i.e. is reckless) that the victim might have such an apprehension. 

Battery

Actus Reus - the defendant applies unlawful force to the victim.

Mens Rea - the defendant intends to apply unlawful force, or the defendant foresees (i.e. is reckless) that he might apply unlawful force.

Section 47, Offences Against the Person Act 1861

Actus Reus - 'Assualt' (which can either be a technical assault, or a battery, or both)

  - Occasioning (which means causing, R v Roberts (1971))

  - Actual Bodily Harm

Mens Rea - If the 'assault' is a technical assault, the prosecution has to prove the mens rea of a technical assault; or

- If the 'assault' is a battery, the prosecution has to prove the mens rea of a battery. 

Section 20, Offences Against the Person Act 1861

Actus Reus - the defendant unlawfully wounds or unlawfully inflicts grievous bodily harm (GBH)

Mens Rea - 'Maliciously', which means intentionally or recklessly (R v Cunningham (1957)), and in this context it means intending or foreseeing some harm (R v Mowatt (1968), approved in R v Savage (1992)). 

Section 18, Offences Against the Person Act 1861

Actus Reus - the defendant unlawfully wounds or unlawfully causes grievous bodily harm (GBH) to the victim.

Mens Rea - the defendant intends to cause GBH, or the defendant foresees some harm and intends to resist lawful arrest. 

****, Section 1, Sexual Offences Act 2003

Actus Reus - the defendant (who must be male)

- penetrates with his penis

- the vagina, anus or mouth of the victim

- and the victim does not consent

Mens Rea - the defendant intends to penetrate

- the defendant does not reasonably believe that the victim consents

Assault by penetration, Section 2, Sexual Offences Act 2003

Actus Reus - the defendant penetrates

- the vagina or anus of the victim

- with a part of his/her body or anything else

- sexually 

- and the victim does not consent

Mens Rea - the defendant intends to penetrate

- the defendant does not reasonably believe that the victim consents

Sexual Assault, Section 3, Sexual Offences Act 2003

Actus Reus - The defendant

- touches

- the victim

- sexually

- and the victim does not consent

Mens Rea - the defendant intends to touch

- the defendant does not reasonably believe that the victim consents

Murder

Actus Reus - a person of sound mind

- unlawfully

- kills

- any human being 

- under the Queen's Peace

Mens Rea - with malice aforethought (the defendant intends to kill or cause grievous bodily harm (GBH) (R v Moloney (1985)). 

Voluntary Manslaughter, Diminished Responsibility Defence, section 2 Homicide Act 1957 (amended by s52 Coroners and Justice Act 2009)

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