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rape is an offence of basic intent? watch

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    in R v. heard (COA) section 3 and presumably 1 and 2 of SOA 2003
    i.e rape, assault by penetration and sexual assault were classed as offences of basic intent.
    specific intent requires intention, basic intent can be satisfied recklessness

    so why in S0A 2003 it specifically state "the intention to penetrate the anus vagina or mouth" and not to be "reckless as to penetrate"

    is r v. heard bad law?
    im curious as this is a very significant case in that it renders defence through voluntary intoxication for rape invalid.

    if we were to follow the words of the statute and the decision in majewski(??) then rape would require specific intent and defence voluntary intoxication should be sufficient


    any one have any thoughts?
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    I'm confused. The s. 1 offence (rape) states: A person commits an offence if a.) he intentionally penetrates the vagina anus or mouth of another person with his penis, b.) B does not consent to the penetration and c.) A does not reasonably believe that B consents. Similarly, assault by penetration can be with any part of the body or anything else and it must be sexual and in s. 3 the only addition is that the touching must also be sexual.

    I may have misunderstood your question but where did you get the "recklessness as to penetrate" part from? Certainly the defendant can be reckless as to whether or not the victim did actually consent to the penetration but the Sexual Offences Act has provided a move away from the subjective test in DPP v Morgan so that now whether or not a belief is reasonable must be "determined having regard to all the circumstances, including any steps A has taken to ascertain whether B consents." I was always of the understanding that rape is a crime of specific intent and that drunken consent is still consent (R v Dougal). Where A has intercourse with B who is unconscious (through alcohol or whatever) an evidential presumption operates in the prosecution's favour (pursuant to s. 75(2)(d) and possibly (f)).

    Or, have I completely missed the point of your question... :o:
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    How can you recklessly rape someone?

    "Recklessness" is knowing the risk of the consequence before carrying out the act. The whole act is based around intent
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    that was my point, there can be no recklessness in rape.

    specific intent crimes require intent
    and allow voluntary intoxication as a defence

    basic intent require intent or recklessness
    voluntary intoxication is not allowed

    section 1 of s0a 2003 states it must be intention for rape to be commmited

    so why in r v heard was s.1,2,3 classed as a basic intent crime and not specific intent?

    it does not mention rekclessness in the statute


    hence why i am confused

    is r v. heard bad law?
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    Right, now I see what you're asking. R v Heard is good law despite the apparent conflict between it and DPP v Majewski. The Court of Appeal basically dismissed the defence of self-induced intoxication because they argued that the element of the offence in s. 3 that the defendant "intentionally touches another person" is an element which requires no more than basic intent. In this respect, voluntary intoxication does not negate an intention to touch but it can be relied upon as evidence to show that accidental touching which amounts to objectively sexual conduct, was in fact unintentional.
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    (Original post by equinoxsolar)
    that was my point, there can be no recklessness in rape.

    specific intent crimes require intent
    and allow voluntary intoxication as a defence

    basic intent require intent or recklessness
    voluntary intoxication is not allowed

    section 1 of s0a 2003 states it must be intention for rape to be commmited

    so why in r v heard was s.1,2,3 classed as a basic intent crime and not specific intent?

    it does not mention rekclessness in the statute


    hence why i am confused

    is r v. heard bad law?
    Also, R v Heard was a case which dealt exclusively with s. 3; it has no application at all to s. 1 rape or s. 2 assault by penetration.
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    Sorry to bump an old thread, just wanted to try and get a few things in my head cleared up.

    As I understand, this case is perfect example of highlighting the difficulties that arise out of the Majewski ruling. The classification by the court of Sexual Assault as a crime of 'basic intent', is a prime example of how policy is a key consideration of the court when classifying a crime as 'basic' or 'specific' intent, and that the classifications are no way set in stone. In the Heard case, one of the courts reasons for finding 'basic intent' was that they did not want to change the law from what it had been prior to the Sexual Offences Act, ie that intoxication provided no defence to sexual offences.

    Does this seem accurate?
 
 
 
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