Criminal liability- mens rea

What's the translation of mens rea?
Guilty mind
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What is mens rea (phrase)?
It's the blameworthy state of mind of D whilst committing the actus reus.
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What are the two forms of mens rea?
Intention (direct and oblique) and recklessness.
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What's direct/specific intention?
It's D's 'aim' or 'purpose' to bring about an outcome (R v. Mohan [1976])
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What's oblique intention?
The jury should "feel sure that death or serious bodily harm was a virtual certainty (barring some unforeseen intervention) as a result of the defendant's actions and that the defendant appreciated such was the case".
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Hyam v. DPP (1975) per Lord Hailsham
Example of a person blowing up a plane for insurance. He knew people were on there so would be regarded as having intended their deaths even though he didn't wish them harm and would prefer them to be alive.
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R v. Woolin (1998)
Father threw his baby son towards the pram but it hit the hard floor and died. "Feel sure that death or serious bodily harm was a virtual certainty" as a "result of the victim's actions" and that the"defendant would appreciate that such was the case"
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When can a jury find oblique intention?
If they feel certain that the consequence was a virtual certainty as a result of D's actions and that D would appreciate such was the case.
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What can the foresight of consequence be taken as?
Evidence of intention if those consequences are foreseen as natural and probable.
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What does R v. Moloney (1985) say?
"The probability of the consequence taken to have been foreseen must be little short of overwhelming before it will suffice to establish necessary intent".
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R v. Hancock & Shankland (1986) per Lord Bridge
Overall: a man who boards a plane to Manchester intends to go to Manchester, even though he doesn't want to go there. His motive for boarding the plane is simply to escape pursuit and it is a moral certainty that he will arrive in Manchester.
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What is recklessness?
Where a person doesn't necessarily set out to bring about a desired result, realises that such a result could occur from the course of action, and nevertheless continues with that course of action.
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How is recklessness judged?
Subjectively and requires a jury to consider what D could foresee as a consequence of his actions.
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R v. Cunningham (1957)
Cunningham ripe a gas meter from a wall and gas leaked from the pipe making another lady that lived there ill. The Court of Appeal held that THE PROSECUTION MUST SHOW THAT D DID FORESEE THAT THE BREAKING OF THE PIPE WOULD CAUSE INJURY.
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What happens if D didn't foresee a risk?
He is not reckless (R v. Spratt [1990])
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What is transferred malice?
When the mens rea the defendant had for the intended victim transfers to the actual victim.
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R v. Latimer (1886)
Two men quarelled in a pub and one intended to strike the other with a belt but he missed and struck the landlady around the face, wounding her severely. The mens rea transferred.
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R v. Mitchell (1983)
D tried to jump a queue and an elderly man took issue with this so he pushed him. The old man fell onto others including an elderly lady who broke her leg and died. D was convicted of manslaughter and the mens rea transferred to her.
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R v. Gnango (2011)
A woman was killed as she was caught in crossfire between two gunmen. The mens rea transferred; Lord Brown stated that it was for the "protection of society ... from the damaging consequences of such injuries and the discouragement of violent conduct
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R v. Pembliton (1874)
D threw a stone towards a group of people but missed and broke a window causing damage. He was not guilty of the offence as the mens rea couldn't be transferred to a property offence.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

What is mens rea (phrase)?

Back

It's the blameworthy state of mind of D whilst committing the actus reus.

Card 3

Front

What are the two forms of mens rea?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

What's direct/specific intention?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

What's oblique intention?

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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