Actus Reus- Guilty Act. This is the pyhsical element of a crime, like punching/stabbing etc. Any act must be voluntary - an involuntary act will not count as the Actus Reus of a crime, as shown in Hill v Baxter (attacked by a swarm of bees while driving).
The Actus Reus of a crime can be created by a state of affairs. This is where a person is found guilty just by the situation they find themselves in, as in R v Larsenour.
An Actus Reus will not be formed by an omission (failure to act) except for a few judge or case made exceptions.
- Failing to wear a seat belt: Road Traffic Act 1988
- Failing to give a breath specimine :Road Traffic Act 1988
- Neglicting a child: Chidlren and Young Persons Act 2003.
Case made exceptions include:
- Failing to put right a dangerous situation you created (R v Miller),
- Failing to care for someone after assuming responsibility (R v Stone…