Criminal Law: Mens Rea Flashcards Preview

Paper 1 Casebase > Criminal Law: Mens Rea > Flashcards

Flashcards in Criminal Law: Mens Rea Deck (13):


(direct intention)

D drove his car straight at a police officer in order to injure them

D had direct intention to bring about the prohibited consequence



(indirect intention)

D threw baby towards a pram but the baby died when it hit the wall

ruled that D would have indirect intention if they foresaw the consequence as virtually certain and appreciated that it was a virtual certainty




D pulled a gas meter off the wall to steal coins and the gas leaked, poisoning the neighbour

D did not realise this could occur and did not foresee this risk so was not reckless




anaesthetist failed to notice a breathing tube had come disconnected during an operation

D was negligent as a reasonable anaesthetist would’ve realised this


Callow v Tillstone

(strict liability)

butcher sold meat unfit for human consumption, a vet assured him that it was acceptable to sell

D was still guilty even though there was no fault on his part, the MR did not need to be proved as it was a SL offence


Harrow v Shah

(strict liability)

staff member sold a lottery ticket to a 13 year old who looked much older, the owners had told the staff not to sell tickets to anyone underage

however, the owners were still liable as the offence was regulatory and one of strict liability


Cundy v Le Cocq

(strict liability)

D was charged with selling alcohol to a drunk person

it did not matter that D did not know the person was drunk, there is no defence of due diligence or even honest mistake



(strict liability)

in which a builder deviated from plans

set out the basic principles of SL
• there is a presumption of MR in criminal offences
• presumption is particularly strong if the offence is “truly criminal”
• this is only displaced if the statute clearly excludes MR, it is a matter of public safety and if it will encourage businesses to be more vigilant


Sweet v Parsley

(strict liability)

a woman was originally found guilty of allowing her house to be used for the smoking of cannabis, she had rented it to students and did not know cannabis was being smoked there

an offence involving drugs would be regarded as truly criminal so the offence was not strict liability



(transferred malice)

D removed his belt in an argument and tried to hit one person but struck the other instead

D was still guilty even though he had not intended to hit V, MR was transferred from the intended victim to the actual victim



(transferred malice)

D threw a stone at a group of men but missed and smashed the window

MR cannot be transferred from a crime against a person to a crime against property so D was not liable for the damage



(continuing act)

D drove on to a police officer’s foot by mistake and therefore had the AR of battery. when D realised what he had done, he refused to move the car and formed the MR

AR was treated as a continuing act so it does not matter than MR was formed while the AR was still continuing


Thabo Meli

(series of connected acts)

D intended to kill V and therefore had the MR of murder. however, V was still alive at this point so D had not performed the AR. believing V to be dead, D pushed the body over a cliff to dispose of it and V died some hours later due to exposure

the second act was the cause of death but was not accompanied by MR so the court treated the acts as a series of connected acts and D was convicted of murder