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  • The D's purpose for acting. D desires to kill E. D acts so as to make this a reality. D intended to kill E.
  • Mens rea translated literally means 'guilty mind'. The court interprets the Latin phrase to mean the metal state.
  • For the majority of crimes, the required mental element is an intention to perpetrate the forbidden actus reus, or recklessness as to whether it occurs.
  • Intention is intertwined with criminal responsibility. A person should not be punished for something which they did not choose or intend to do.
  • Intention is the most obvious mental element which grounds criminal responsibility.
  • R v Heron demonstrates the principle that dishonest intention is not necessary to prove criminal responsibility. D made conterfeit coins contrary to statute and he was guilty of an offence because he had 'basic intent' to do the act.
  • S.18 of the Offences against the Person Act 1861 demonstrates where specific intent is needed. Under the Act, nobody can be liable for wounding unless it was their intention to cause GBH.
  • It is widely thought that the defintion of intention should not be elaborated on to the jury. Where a judge does elaborate 'too much' this can lead to the conviction being quashed.
  • It can be hard to determine the distinction between D's motive and their intention…


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