Criminal liability- the Coincidence of actus reus and mens rea (or Contemporaneity rule)

What is required in criminal offences?
Both actus reus and mens rea. They need to occur at the same time or very closely together. In some cases, the actus reus can continue over a period of time and once mens rea occurs, it becomes a criminal offence.
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Fagan v. MPC (1969)
Fagan accidentally parked on a policeman's foot but when the policeman asked him to move, he refused and swore at him. He was charged and the Court saw the offence starting when he refused to move the car. The actus reus was when the car was on foot
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R v. Thabo Meli (1954)
A group planned to kill a man and beat him up. They thought V was dead so they threw his body off a cliff where V died. They appealed conviction but Court said that the act of beating and throwing V off a cliff was 1 continuing act.
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R v. Church ( 1966)
A woman mocked D (during sex) so he attacked her, knocking her out. Thinking she was dead, he threw her body into a river where she drowned. D's appeal was based on the coincidence of AR and MR but failed as Court saw it as one continuing act.
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R v. Le Brun (1991)
D punched his wife, knocking her unconscious. Trying to move her body, he dropped her, whacking her head on a pavement which was fatal. He was convicted on manslaughter. Lord Lane CJ said that the application of force was the"same sequence of events"
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

Fagan v. MPC (1969)

Back

Fagan accidentally parked on a policeman's foot but when the policeman asked him to move, he refused and swore at him. He was charged and the Court saw the offence starting when he refused to move the car. The actus reus was when the car was on foot

Card 3

Front

R v. Thabo Meli (1954)

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

R v. Church ( 1966)

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

R v. Le Brun (1991)

Back

Preview of the front of card 5

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