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Flashcards in General Principles of Criminal Law Deck (37):

AG's Ref (No.3 of 2003)

Ratio: R v G is the correct test for recklessness.


Chandler v DPP

Ratio: Motive and intention are different and should not be confused.

Facts: Defendant's intention was to break into an airfield to protest against nuclear weapons. The motive behind it was to protect people from nuclear weapons.


Fagan v MPC

Ratio: Where the AR involves a continuing act, it is sufficient for the defendant to have the MR at any point.

Facts: A man accidentally reversed onto a policeman's foot. However, he then refused to move off his foot. Held he had the MR at the point he refused to move and the whole event could be viewed as a continuing act.


R v Benge

Ratio: Defendant does not need to be the sole cause of an incident to be criminally liable.


R v Blaue

Ratio: 1. Refusal of medical treatment is unlikely to break the chain of causation. 2. Thin skull rule

Facts: A Jehovah's Witness died because she refused to accept a blood transfusion. Held not to break the chain.


R v Cato

Ratio: Substantial means more than de minimis.


R v Cheshire

Ratio: To break the chain of causation, medical treatment must make the original cause insignificant.

Facts: A man who had been shot died as a result of a failure on the doctor's part. The defendant was still convicted of murder as the doctor's failure was not so palpably wrong as to break the chain of causation.


R v Cunningham

Ratio: Original test for recklessness - defendant foresaw the risk and took it anyway. Overruled by R v G.


R v Dalloway

Ratio: The outcome must be caused by the culpable act.

Facts: A horse-drawn cart hit and killed a child that had run out in front of it. Dalloway had not been holding the reins. However, he would not have been able to stop even if he had been and so he was not liable.


R v Dear

Ratio: Where an act remains the operating and substantial cause of an outcome, the defendant will still be liable.

Facts: After being attacked by a knife and subsequent medical treatment, the victim's stitches reopened. Uncertain whether this was deliberate, or whether they re-opened naturally and he chose not to seek held. Held that this did not break the chain of causation as the original wound was still an operative and substantial cause of the death.


R v G

Ratio: Set out test for recklessness. A person acts recklessly ... with respect to i) a circumstance where he is aware of a risk that it exists or will exist; ii) a result when he is aware of a risk that it will occur; and it is, in the circumstances known to him, unreasonable to take the risk.


R v Hayward

Ratio: The thin skull rule means the defendant takes his victim as he finds him and is responsible for any particular damage caused.

Facts: Defendant chased his wife into the street where she collapsed and died because of a rare medical condition.


R v Kimsey

Ratio: Substantial, for the purpose of R v Pagett, means more than 'slight or trifling'.


R v Latimer

Ratio: Established the doctrine of transferred malice - requisite MR can be transferred from one person to another such that it can coincide with the AR in respect of that other person.

Facts: Defendant aimed to strike a man with his belt. The blow ricocheted and hit a woman in the face, causing her serious injury.


R v Mackie

Ratio: If the reaction is foreseeable it will not be a break in the chain of causation.

Facts: A man threatened his son, who was scared and ran away. The son fell down the stairs and died. Running away was a foreseeable reaction and so the chain was not broken.


R v Matthews and Alleyne

Ratio: Jury may find intent if the 'virtual certainty' test for oblique intent is satisfied.

Facts: Defendants robbed a man and there whim in a river, where died. They knew he could not swim. The jury found oblique intent as death was a virtual certainty of throwing him in the river.


R v Miller

Ratio: Where a defendant has created a dangerous situation, he can be held criminally liable for failing to take reasonable steps to remedy it.

Facts: Miller fell asleep with a lit cigarette. Woke up and realised that the mattress was on fire. Didn't do anything about it, just moved to another room and went back to sleep. Held responsible for damage caused.


R v Moloney

Ratio: Intention means aim or purpose.


R v Nedrick

Ratio: Test for oblique/indirect intent = was the outcome a virtual certainty of the defendant's act?


R v Pagett

Ratio: 1. Defendant's actions must be the operating and substantial cause of the outcome. 2. Interventions of a third party will only break the chain if they are 'free, deliberate and informed'.

Facts: Defendant used girlfriend as a human shield while he shot at the police. She was killed and he was charged with her manslaughter.


R v Pembliton

Ratio: For transferred magic to apply, the AR and MR must be in respect of the same offence.

Facts: Defendant tried to throw stones at a crowd of people. He missed and smashed a window. He was convicted of criminal damage but successfully appealed his conviction as he did not have the requisite MR.


R v Pittwood

Ratio: Where the defendant has a contractual duty to act, but fails to do so, he can be held criminally liable for that omission.

Facts: Gatekeeper left a gate open on a railway crossing and a man was killed. He was employed to prevent people coming to harm and failed to do so.


R v Smith (William)

Ratio: Generally, there is no criminal liability for omissions.

Facts: Railway watchman took a break, during which a man was hit by a train. Court held no liability.


R v Stone and Dobinson

Ratio: Where the defendant assumes a voluntary duty of care for the victim, they can be held criminally liable for an omission.

Facts: They took in Stone's elderly anorexic sister, Fanny, and agreed to care for her. They let her starve to death and were held responsible for it.


R v Thabo-Meli

Ratio: Single Transaction Theory - Where the AR is a series of linked acts, having the MR at any point is sufficient.

Facts: Defendants thought they had killed a man, so they threw him off a cliff. He actually only died as a result of being thrown off the cliff.


R v White

Ratio: Established the 'but for' test for factual causation.

Facts: Defendant put poison in his mother's milk. She died of an unrelated heart attack in her sleep. He was not held responsible because he was not the cause of her death.


R v Woollin

Ratio: Oblique intention can be found where the outcome is a virtual certainty and the defendant realised it was.

Facts: A father shook his child and threw him across the room. He killed the child although he had not wanted or intended to.


R v Hill

Ratio: Motive can be evidence of intention.


A-G's Ref (No.4 of 1980)

Ratio: If it is not clear which act was the AR, D must have MR for relevant crime when he does each of the acts which could constitute AR.


R v Bailey

Ratio: Ignorance of criminal law is never an excuse.


R v Smith

Ratio: Ignorance of civil law can be an excuse.


R v Masilela

Ratio: Sometimes the act done with the MR can be viewed as causing subsequent acts.


R v Roberts

Ratio: If the victim's escape attempt is foreseeable by the reasonable man it will not break the chain of causation.

Facts: V was a passenger in D's car. She was afraid of his unwanted sexual advances and so jumped out of the moving car. This did not break the chain of causation and the defendant was convicted of assault occasioning ABH.


R v Williams and Davis

Ratio: If the victim's escape attempt is foreseeable by the reasonable man it will not break the chain of causation.

Facts: Appellants gave a lift to a hitchhiker and tried to rob her at knifepoint. She jumped from the vehicle and died. Appellants were convicted of murder.


R v Holland

Ratio: Refusal of medical treatment is unlikely to break the chain of causation.

Facts: Deceased was attacked by H and suffered a number of wounds, including a severely cut finger. Deceased ignored medical advice and died of tetanus. The wound was the cause of death and so the defendant was liable.


R v Kennedy

Ratio: A person who supplies a drug to another has not caused that drug to be administered when the other injects himself with it.


R v Girdler

Ratio: In situations with no precedent, apply a common sense approach.