Mens Rea

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  • Created by: Heather
  • Created on: 28-02-12 17:05

Mens Rea: 'The Guilty Mind'

The mens rea is the mental element of a crime, ie. D's though processes.

Intention is the most serious type of Mens Rea: DIRECT INTENTION as defined in Mohan: ' The decision to bring about the consequence no matter whether the accused wanted that consequence of his act or not'

 INDIRECT INTENTION : Not clear of D aimed to cause consequence.

R V Woolin: D threw baby at a wall, baby dies.

Virtual Cirtainty: Must be able to FORSEE consequence

  • Are the consequences of D's actions virtually certain?
  • Would D have realised this?

Answer to both of these questions has to be a yes otherwise jury is not entitled to find intention.

Matthews and Alleyne

D+D dropped V in river. V died. This case shows that these questions alone cannot prove intention and that ALL circumstance  must be considered.

RECKLESSNES : less serious that INTENTION. Usually forms the mens rea for less serious crimes, ie. battery.

Recklessness was established in R V Cunningham: 'to forsee a risk of harm and go ahead anyway'

TRANSFERRED MALLICE-The defendent with the mens rea of a particular crime peforms that actus reus of the same crime but in a differant way than intended.


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