Criminal Damage Essay - Check Up PleaseWatch
Scenario:One night, ‘for a laugh’ Billy dismantled the safety barriers round a hole in the road and threw them over a hedger into a stream, along with the warning lights, one of which broke.
Questioniscuss the criminal liability of Billy arising out of the incident with the safety barriers and warning lights, and of Billy and of Charlie in connection with the mountain bike
Answer so Far:
Billy could be given offence of Criminal Damage section 1(1). The Criminal Damage Act 1971 says a person is guilty of the offence if “who without lawful excuse destroys any property belonging to another intending to destroy or damage any such property or being reckless as to whether any such property would be destroyed
Three elements make up the actus reus firstly is “destroy or damage” (not defined in the act), the warning light may be deemed destroyed as it is now no longer useful for purpose and is useless as it no longer functions as it has ‘broke’. Argued he damaged the safety barriers as he ‘dismantled them’ and ‘threw them over a hedge into a river’ hence it would require effort and time in order to return them to the original state, as in Roe v Kingerle.
The next element to consider is ‘property’ s.10 of The Criminal Damage Act 1971 is defined as ‘property of a tangible nature, whether real or personal and including money’. The property in this case is personal and would be the ‘safety barriers’ and ‘warning lights’.
The next element ‘belonging to another’ where property has to belong to another. S.10 (2) of Criminal Damage Act 1971nsatest property will be treated as belonging to any person if they have custody or control of it, having in it any proprietary right or interest, or having a charge on it. In this case the council I presume would have custody of it and proprietary rights over it, hence making the property belonging to another.
Hence the actus reus of the this offence would be satisfied. The mens rea (made up of two elements – intent or recklessness or without lawful excuse). In this case I believe the recklessness test would be asked upon in which the jury decide upon whether he was reckless or not. I believe recklessness would be sufficient in this case in R v Cunningham, where Billy must know that he is causing criminal damage or be subjectively reckless at to whether he is causing it. Billy might have intended to damage or destroy property or else was reckless as to the property would be damaged or destroyed. R v Pembliton. I believe he intended to as he did this “for a laugh” hence he desired out the outcome.
Go on to talk about aggravated offece – as the hole.
I feel like I am missing stuff out. Like to know how I can make my essay better in scenario questions. Thanks.
What I would do is explain more about the mens rea, i.e. say that it was objective recklessness (Caldwell) before R v G and Others overruled the objective test and re-established subjective recklessness, (R v Cunningham.
And explain more about R v Pembliton as it does quite fit in in your essay. You could say something along the lines of transferred malice and how it needs to be of the same type.