malti
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D was moving from his 10th story flat to a small house. The new occupiers had asked D to ensure that all his furniture was removed from the flat. D had a very heavy solid oak wardrobe that he could not get down the stairs and the lift wasn’t working. D looked over the balcony and noticed a group of about 30 teenagers hanging about directly under D’s balcony. D considered that he might cause serious harm but as he did not think that anyone would realise where the wardrobe had come from and he was so desperate to get rid of the wardrobe that he decided to push the wardrobe over the balcony. The wardrobe hit one of the teenagers who died in hospital from his injuries. D is charged with murder. Discuss both the AR and MR of the offence and conclude as to whether D is guilty of this offence.


hey guys i ll appreciate ur points.. this is the first question i am doing which need to be submitted ..so just want to ensure that i covered all points i need ur help ...thx
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JmJtr
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Actus reus is obviously the throwing of the wardrobe over the balcony. It is unlawful, the D did kill and there is no break in causation. Mens rea is litltle more tricky but I think it is murder. Easy to identify from were it says 'D knew he might cause serious harm'. The mens rea of murder is 1. intention to kill (expressed) and/or 2. intention to cause serious harm (Implied). I think this case would fall under the second definition.

I Haven't read anything on law since like june btw so may be alittle rusty.
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lawmore
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(Original post by malti)
D was moving from his 10th story flat to a small house. The new occupiers had asked D to ensure that all his furniture was removed from the flat. D had a very heavy solid oak wardrobe that he could not get down the stairs and the lift wasn’t working. D looked over the balcony and noticed a group of about 30 teenagers hanging about directly under D’s balcony. D considered that he might cause serious harm but as he did not think that anyone would realise where the wardrobe had come from and he was so desperate to get rid of the wardrobe that he decided to push the wardrobe over the balcony. The wardrobe hit one of the teenagers who died in hospital from his injuries. D is charged with murder. Discuss both the AR and MR of the offence and conclude as to whether D is guilty of this offence.


hey guys i ll appreciate ur points.. this is the first question i am doing which need to be submitted ..so just want to ensure that i covered all points i need ur help ...thx
1) Identify D,V,Offence

The defendant in this case (D) is Malti. The victim in this case (v) is 'teenager 1'. The offence under which the defendant is being charged is murder.

2) Define what needs to be shown for the defendant to be convicted

The actus reus of murder is the unlawful killing of a reasonable person who is under the Queen's peace (Coke). The mens rea requires intention to kill or intention to cause grevious bodily harm (GBH) (R v Vickers). Oblique intention can also form the mens rea (Woollin).

3) Explain what the offence requires for these elements to be satisfied

GBH has been defined in DPP v Smith as 'really serious harm'. The word 'really' can be omitted when directing the jury (Savage). Oblique intention requires that the accused foresees the risk of death as a virtual certainty.

4) Apply the law to the case

The actus reus for murder was formed when D pushed the wardrobe over the belcony. The relevent mens rea requirement is that the defendant intended to cause grevious bodily harm. According to the facts of the case "D considered that he might cause serious harm" and therefore shows the necessary mens rea.

That's how i'd answer it. there's alot of scope for causation/partial defences/manslaughter in a question like this. If the hospital treatment was negligent then you could have to consider manslaughter or causation, depending on who's loability the question is asking you to show. Any exam question on homicide (the death of another) would usually involve causation, provocation, diminished responsibility, gross negligence manslaughter or unlawful act manslaughter. Murder is easy..................
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JmJtr
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(Original post by lawmore)
1) Identify D,V,Offence

The defendant in this case (D) is Malti. The victim in this case (v) is 'teenager 1'. The offence under which the defendant is being charged is murder.

2) Define what needs to be shown for the defendant to be convicted

The actus reus of murder is the unlawful killing of a reasonable person who is under the Queen's peace (Coke). The mens rea requires intention to kill or intention to cause grevious bodily harm (GBH) (R v Vickers). Oblique intention can also form the mens rea (Woollin).

3) Explain what the offence requires for these elements to be satisfied

GBH has been defined in DPP v Smith as 'really serious harm'. The word 'really' can be omitted when directing the jury (Savage). Oblique intention requires that the accused foresees the risk of death as a virtual certainty.

4) Apply the law to the case

The actus reus for murder was formed when D pushed the wardrobe over the belcony. The relevent mens rea requirement is that the defendant intended to cause grevious bodily harm. According to the facts of the case "D considered that he might cause serious harm" and therefore shows the necessary mens rea.

That's how i'd answer it. there's alot of scope for causation/partial defences/manslaughter in a question like this. If the hospital treatment was negligent then you could have to consider manslaughter or causation, depending on who's loability the question is asking you to show. Any exam question on homicide (the death of another) would usually involve causation, provocation, diminished responsibility, gross negligence manslaughter or unlawful act manslaughter. Murder is easy..................

You know what I'm reading over your answer and my answer which are quite similar and starting to think maybe the mens rea was actually recklessness?

It says 'D knew he MIGHT cause serious harm'. Dosen't this mean he knew there was a risk yet took it anyway?

In this case it would not be murder..
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lawmore
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(Original post by JmJtr)
You know what I'm reading over your answer and my answer which are quite similar and starting to think maybe the mens rea was actually recklessness?

It says 'D knew he MIGHT cause serious harm'. Dosen't this mean he knew there was a risk yet took it anyway?

In this case it would not be murder..
woollin oblique intention is to foresee the concequences of an action as virtually certain, and to go ahead with the action.
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lawmore
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R v Nedrick:

Where a man realises that it is for all practical purposes inevitable that his actions will result in death or serious harm, the inference may be irresistible that he intended that result, however little he may have desired or wished it to happen

R v Woollin

The jury, should be directed that they are entitled to find the necessary intention if they feel sure that death or serious bodily harm was a virtual certainty - barring some unforeseen intervention - as a result of the defendant’s actions, and that the defendant realised such was the case, but should be reminded that the decision is one for them on a consideration of all the evidence.

It's a subjective test.. so if he threw the thing knowing people were there then any jury will find that he foresaw gbh as a virtual certainty of the act.

It's probably worth linking really serious harm with the description of what he threw over - if it was "very heavy" then that's justification for really serious harm.

It wouldn't go into s.18 just because there's a death. It would be, if anything else, unlawful act manslaughter. If I had 1.30 in an exam then that's the key. Otherwise, it's just murder.

I'm not sure whether they would go for battery or s.18/s.20 for uam.
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peterlucas88756
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[QUOTE=malti;28260421]D was moving from his 10th story flat to a small house. The new occupiers had asked D to ensure that all his furniture was removed from the flat. D had a very heavy solid oak wardrobe that he could not get down the stairs and the lift wasn’t working. D looked over the balcony and noticed a group of about 30 teenagers hanging about directly under D’s balcony. D considered that he might cause serious harm but as he did not think that anyone would realise where the wardrobe had come from and he was so desperate to get rid of the wardrobe that he decided to push the wardrobe over the balcony. The wardrobe hit one of the teenagers who died in hospital from his injuries. D is charged with murder. Discuss both the AR and MR of the offence and conclude as to whether D is guilty of this offence.

The heart of the question lies in the mens rea aspect of murder. He quite blatantly didnt intend to kill anyone. It is difficult to conclude whether D intended to cause GBH to the teenager, did he know him, did he set out to hurt him. One crucial point that must be analysed is whether oblique intention fufills the mens rea element. The defendant did have another aim in mind other than causing death or gbh but his actions rendered death or serious injury a virtual certainty and he did in fact realize this was the case. The fact that the wardrobe is 'very heavy solid oak' and the fact that 'he could not get it down the stairs' conveys serious harm was a virtual certainty and it is stated as he realized this.

However one also needs to examine possible defences:

1, voluntary manslaughter? Is there diminished responsibility? Abnormality of the mind? Was he moving into a mental institution LOL? - likely answer is no since he realised there could be harm to the teenages 'directly under his balcony' but the fact that he saw them and still threw the wardrobe does suggest he may not have understood the characteristics and consequences.

2, Reckless manslaughter?? This is where the defendant causes death without awareness that his conduct caused a subjective risk of causing death or serious harm provided that the level of risk that was foreseen was less than virtually certain.


My view is that he is guilty of murder on the grounds of oblique intention since he realised harm would ensue and the wardrobe was very heavy and the balcony was at a high distance and the fact that there were 30 youths increases the probability of being hit.

Thanks, rep please!!
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lawmore
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a good case for unlawful act manslaughter, which is where the accused lacks the mens rea for murder but kills in the course of an unlawful, criminal act, is DPP v Newbury & Jones - they threq a paving slab over a bridge, killing the guard in a train.

This case also lays out the requirements to find a conviction

intentional act
unlawful act
dangerous
caused the death of v

note that there are a good 30 important cases in this area, but once the base offence is established (lets say assault in this case (AR+MR) other cases such as Goodfellow (as confirmed in AG Ref 03 '94) can be mentioned. In Goodfellow it was held that there is no need for the act to be aimed at the victim.

Note also that the dangerousness of the act would be judged by the sober and reasonable man - R v Dawson.
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malti
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thx guys for ur help.... the answer is...

Definition

When V died D might be guilty of murder which is the unlawful killing of another human being within the Queen’s peace with malice aforethought.

Establish AR –
-The conduct (throwing wardrobe- no need to mention it was a positive act)
-Death of human being-yes
-Did D cause the result – yes factual – legal –indirect – no actual touching–Martin
-Also within QP and unlawful as no defence on the facts.


Establish MR
– State what it is - intention to kill or cause GBH. (Vickers Maloney,)


Direct intention? – no – real purpose was to get rid of wardrobe.

Oblique intention? – barring all unforeseen circumstances, (such as a lorry suddenly coming round corner to break fall) was it virtually certain that D would kill or cause GBH, where D foresaw this? Woollin test.

VC result? Not death? but GBH –yes – 30 teenagers directly under balcony- solid oak wardrobe and heavy – it is VC GBH will occur.

Second part of the test – Was D aware it was VC result? D considered he ‘might’ cause serious harm. This is not enough as he must be aware that the result was virtually certain. ‘Might’ is not VC! However this is subjective recklessness ( -Cunningham, R v G )

Conclude

No MR – so can not be murder even though he has caused the AR.

The alternative offence would be unlawful and dangerous act manslaughter, or reckless manslaughter where subjective recklessness suffices ( students were not expected to consider this offence or even identify it as a possibility)
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lawmore
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D had a very heavy solid oak wardrobe that he could not get down the stairs and the lift wasn’t working. D looked over the balcony and noticed a group of about 30 teenagers hanging about directly under D’s balcony. D considered that he might cause serious harm but as he did not think that anyone would realise where the wardrobe had come from and he was so desperate to get rid of the wardrobe that he decided to push the wardrobe over the balcony.

I don't understand how any jury would decide that the defendant didn't see GBH as a VC
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Hussein Rashid
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for murder to be present there must be, causing of a person death, by an act or omission and malice aforethought. if these ingredients are present then the accused can be properly convicted of murder. the actus reus of murder is the act or omission which had resulted to the death of the person, clearly we can depict this from the circumstancial evidence of the case. The mens rea on the other hand is the malice aforethought.The question is did she have the intent to kill? or did she have the knowledge that whatever she was doing was a dangerous Act, i clearly find that the gist of the case has met the threshold of the mens rea. Hence she should be convicted of murder. But not manslaughter
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Hussein Rashid
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for murder to be present there must be, causing of a person death, by an act or omission and malice aforethought. if these ingredients are present then the accused can be properly convicted of murder. the actus reus of murder is the act or omission which had resulted to the death of the person, clearly we can depict this from the circumstancial evidence of the case. The mens rea on the other hand is the malice aforethought.The question is did she have the intent to kill? or did she have the knowledge that whatever she was doing was a dangerous Act, i clearly find that the gist of the case has met the threshold of the mens rea. Hence she should be convicted of murder. But not manslaughter
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RohanYnaik
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I come from New Zealand so our law is slightly different, but most of the UK common law is adopted into our Crimes Act. Murder requires first culpable homicide, so there needs to be an unlawful act that lead to the death.
Culpable homicide:
There was a person killing a person it occurred within a day and a year
Unlawful Act:
Assault: intentional application of force
There was force and it was applied to the teenagers. Although there was no intention merely recklessness
Causation is met (R v Smith), as the desk falling on him was a significant and operative cause of death.
S 188(2): Wounding with intent
GBH was likely incurred need more facts but the standard for GBH is R v Lee, no consent present either factual or mens rea. Causation is there as him throwing the wardrobe caused the injury (R v Smith)
Mens rea was recklessness which was arguably there as he appreciated the danger of throwing it off the balcony, so would have appreciated that he could cause GBH.
Culpable homicide: Met in regard to s 188(2)
Murder:
There was no intention to cause death or GBH, so it can't be murder. So it is manslaughter.
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