Mens Rea

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1. What is the coincidence rule?

  • Where D is guilty of an offence simply for committing the AR not the MR. - Larsonneur
  • In order for D to be guilty of offence, AR and MR must happen at different times. - Latimer
  • In order for D to be guilty of offence, AR and MR must happen at same time - Fagan v MPC
  • Where the D knows there is a risk but takes it anyway - Cunningham
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2. What is transferred malice?

  • Where the D intends to commit a similar offence against one person but instead commits is against another. Don't have to be the same or similar - Latimer.
  • Where the D intends to commit a similar offence against one person but instead commits is against another. Must be the same or similar - Latimer.
  • Where the D intends to commit a different offence against one person but instead commits another - HLBC v Shah

3. What is absolute liability?

  • Where the AR and MR have to happen at the same time.
  • Where the D doesn't need an AR or MR to be guilty. - R v Larsonneur.
  • Where the D is guilty of an offence for just committing the AR, no need for MR - HLBC v Shah.

4. Reasons against strict liability?

  • Makes people who are not blameworthy guilty of an offence, even if all possible care has been taken - HLBC v Shah.
  • Takes longer for a guilty plea.
  • Protects society, promotes greater care in public safety - Alphacell v Woodward.
  • Harder to enforce.

5. What is direct intent?

  • Defined in R v Mohan as the decision to bring about a prohibited consequence.
  • Where aim of the D is different to the actual consequence. R v Woollin established the virtual certainty test
  • Defined in R v Cunningham as when the D realises there is a risk but takes that risk anyway.

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