Carter (Liability regarding Cooper)
Carter might be charged under Section
47 OAPA 18611(S47
OAPA) which states that whoever shall be convicted on indictment of any assault
occasioning actual bodily harm shall be liable for an imprisonment for any term
not exceeding five years.
The actus reus (AR) committed by Carter was the
non-consensual physical contact inflicted upon Cooper when he pulled the chair
away from him. The mens rea (MR) in this case is the intention to make direct
or indirect non-consensual physical contact towards Cooper. Carter could raise
the defence of insanity.
On the facts, Cooper did not sustain any injuries therefore
S47 OAPA might not apply here. The court might charge Carter with Battery
instead. Battery is the actual infliction of unlawful force on another person
as established in the case of Collins v Wilcock2.
There are three elements of battery to be satisfied. Direct
or indirect contact, non-consensual and physical contact. In the case of Haystead v DPP3 where
defendant hit a woman causing her to drop the baby she was holding, defendant
was convicted of battery even though he did not touch the baby. Carter did not
touch Cooper however he pulled the chair away causing Cooper to fall which
satisfy the element of indirect contact.
The second element of battery requires non-consensual
touching. Cooper clearly did not consent to Carter indirect contact.
The third element of battery requires physical contact to
be inflicted upon the victim and even minor contact will suffice as physical
contact. On the facts, physical contact was present when Cooper fell.
On the facts, Cooper used to bully Carter in school. Could
this have resulted in Carter developing a mental disorder from the bullying?
Was the bullying in the past severe enough that caused Carter to probably
develop anger management or severe depression? If Carter has a recognised
medical condition, he may have a defence of insanity established in the case of
R v M’Naghten4.
Cooper did not suffer any injury thus Carter will be
unlikely to be charged with causing actual bodily harm (ABH) however the courts
might charge him with battery instead unless he has a defence of insanity which
might exonerate him.
Barry (Liability regarding Joey)
Barry might be charged under Section 18 or 20 OAPA 1861
grievous bodily harm (GBH) as established in the case of DPP v Smith 5.
The AR committed by Barry
is wounding Joey by slide tackling him thus causing GBH. The MR in this case is
subjective recklessness. Barry could raise the defence of consent and the
defence of a properly conducted sporting activity.
On the facts, this is a
game of football conducted with supervision as referees are present in the
game. As established in the case of Barnes6 , Court of Appeal (COA)
held that the defendant was criminally liable for injury caused by a tackle in
football on the basis that it was so far outside of the “rules of the game”
that criminal liability was appropriate. The issue here is whether Barry had
committed a foul considered outside of the “rules of the game” On the facts, it
seems that Barry did not break any rule as sliding and tackling an opponent is
a common move used by players in a football game. Joey has consented to
participation and should foresee some risks when participating in a high
contact sporting activity such as football.
The court is likely to
quash Barry’s charge.
R v Barry (Liability regarding Paul)
Barry is likely to be
charge with common assault under S47 OAPA 18611. The AR committed by Barry is yelling and
threatening Paul. The MR in this case is subjective recklessness. Barry could
raise the defence of mistake as to surrounding circumstances established in the
case of R v William Gladstone7 where the defendant witnessed a man attacked
a youth, he rushed to the aid of the youth however the youth was a criminal and
the attacker was wrestling the youth to the ground to prevent him from
Barry might be charged
with assault in respect of the threatening words towards Paul. Assault is
defined as intentionally or recklessly causing a person to apprehend immediate
and unlawful personal violence established in the case of Fagan v MPC8.
On the facts, Barry
reacted after the yellow card was brandished at him. It is common for players
in sporting games to get frustrated and emotional when decisions seem to go
against them. Barry is likely to argue that his words do not constitute assault
however in R v Ireland9, the House of Lords (HOL) dismissed the
long-standing principle that words could not amount to an assault.
There are three AR
elements that must be established before Barry can be charged with assault. An
act, apprehension and immediate violence.
Barry threating words has
satisfied the element of the act. The second element is unlikely to be
satisfied as Paul does not seem apprehensive. The third element is unlikely to
be satisfied too as Paul does not seem to be expecting immediate violence.
As both the AR and MR
cannot be established, Barry is unlikely to be charged with assault.
R v Barry (Liability regarding Rebecca)
Barry is likely to be
charge with Sexual Offences Act 2003 Section 1 (SOA 2003) 10
which states that a person has committed an offence if he intentionally
penetrates the vagina, anus or mouth of another person (B) with his penis, (B)
does not consent to the penetration and (A) does not reasonably believe that (B)
consents. The AR committed by Barry is the penetration of the vagina with his
penis. The MR in this case is intentional penetration. Barry could raise the
defence of consent.
On the facts, Barry had
sexual intercourse with Rebecca. The issue here is one of consent. The issue of
consent goes under MR. It seems that Rebecca invited Barry into bed with her
which implies consent however that might be because she has mistaken Barry for
Frank who is Barry’s twin brother. By inviting Barry to bed, Barry had
reasonable belief that victim was consenting therefore the defence of consent might
stand. Rebecca is likely to argue that she has mistaken Barry for Frank and
Barry had committed rape by deception. Under Section 76 of the SOA 2003, there
is a sub section that states impersonation of another which Barry clearly satisfy.
Barry clearly impersonated his twin brother Frank. He might argue that he
honestly held a mistaken belief in consent as she invited him to bed however it
is unlikely that he had that belief unless Rebecca is known for having trysts.
Barry could avoid liability under the previous law established in the case of DPP v Morgan11 also known as the rapist
charter however the current SOA 2003 has reversed this position introducing the
requirement that the defendant’s belief must be reasonable which is not the
Barry is likely to be
charged with rape.
R v Katie (Liability regarding Jim)
Katie is likely to be
charge with murder as defined by Coke Chief Justice “a man unlawfully killing
within any county of realm any reasonable human-being under king’s peace; with
malice afore-thought” 12.
The AR committed by Katie is unlawful killing and the MR in this case is
subjective recklessness. Katie could raise the defence of Novus actus
Interveniens regarding the act of nature.
Katie murder charge is
likely to be reduced to involuntary manslaughter as she did not intend to kill
Jim. As there is no MR, Katie is likely to be guilty of unlawful act
manslaughter defined in the case of Larkin13. The prosecution must prove three elements
for the charge of unlawful act manslaughter to be held; was the act unlawful,
was the unlawful act dangerous and did the unlawful and dangerous act caused
death. On the facts, despite a notice warning both parties that the bridge is
out of bounds, they proceeded to trespass which is unlawful thereby satisfying
the element of an unlawful act. Clearly crossing a damaged or out of bounds
bridge is dangerous yet they continued thereby satisfying the second element.
Lastly, did the unlawful and dangerous act caused death? Yes, Jim died because
of the unlawful acts. Katie is likely to argue that they were oblivious to the
risks involved, however in the case of AG reference no.3 of
199414 Lord Hope stated,
“dangerousness in this context is not a high standard, all it requires is an
act likely to injure other parties.” The notice has already warned them of the
risks therefore being oblivious is not an excuse. She is likely to argue that
the act of nature broke the chain of causation as it was the recent storms that
caused the bridge to be damaged. This is unlikely to be considered a defence as
the storm have damaged the bridge and is not the main cause of Jim’s death.
Moreover, they had assumed responsibility for their own safety by crossing into
unfamiliar territory despite warnings. Nevertheless, Katie could only be
considered unlucky to be at the wrong place at the wrong time, from a wedding
proposal to a funeral.
Courts is likely to charge
Katie with involuntary manslaughter.
R v Carson (Liability regarding Jake)
Carson is likely to be
charge with S47 OAPA 1861 ABH. The AR committed by Carson is direct
non-consensual physical contact when he lunged at Jake. The MR in this case is
intention to make direct physical contact. Carson could raise the defence of
intoxication might be able to raise the defence of mental capacity.
Carson might be charged
with S47 OAPA 1861 with causing ABH. This offence requires proof of either an
assault or a battery which causes ABH. Clearly, there is battery here as Carson
lunged at Jake pinning him to the tree. Carson is likely to argue that he was
intoxicated after drinking 5 cans of beer however voluntary intoxication is not
a good defence to a basic intent crime established in the case of DPP v Majewski15 and DPP v Beard16. Carson might rely on the defence of lacking
the ability to form rational judgement due to jealousy, but defence is likely
to be nullified. On the facts, we do not know the extent of Jake’s injuries but
judging by the fact that he could punch and retaliate indicates that he is not
Carson is likely to be
charged with S47 OAPA 1861 with causing ABH. However, if the courts held that
Jake’s injury is not severe, his charge might be reduced to battery instead.
R v Carson (Liability regarding Bella)
Carson is likely to be
charge with Section 18 or Section 20 of OAPA (S18/S20 OAPA) with causing GBH.
The AR committed by Carson is inflicting GBH upon Bella. The MR in this case is
intention to cause GBH towards Jake. The defences Carson could raise is
intoxication, mistake as to consequences and self-defence.
Carson is likely to be
charged with S20 OAPA whereby defendant intended to cause serious harm. On the
facts, Carson picked up a hefty tree branch, this indicates that he intended to
cause serious injury. Carson is likely to argue he was intoxicated however as
his intoxication was voluntary there is no defence, however it might mitigate
his sentence if he is charged with a severe conviction. He may also argue that
it was a mistake as to the consequences as he was not expecting serious harm
and instead intended some form of battery. Nonetheless, he cannot escape
liability as his actions caused Bella to suffer GBH. He might rely on the
defence of self-defence however the force inflicted he inflicted was
disproportionate to the punch Jake gave him. Moreover, he was the one that
started the fight therefore self-defence is inapplicable. Carson will argue
that he has no intention to hit Bella therefore there will be no MR which will
absolves him from criminal liability however the doctrine of transferred malice
will apply here established in the case of R v Latimer17. Whereby the MR is transferrable from Jake
Carson is likely to be
R v Jake (Liability regarding Tabitha)
Jake is likely to be charged with murder as mentioned previously. The AR
committed by Jake is unlawful killing. The MR in this case is intention to kill
or cause GBH. The defence Jake is likely to raise is Diminished Responsibility
(DR) established in the case of R v Dietschmann18.
Applying the test of causation established in the case of White19.
Factual causation is established by the but for test. But for Jake’s actions,
Tabitha would not have died. In relation to legal causation, Jake’s actions are
the sole cause of death thus the AR of murder is recognized.
The main issue relates to the MR. Did Jake have the necessary MR for
murder? The courts need to question whether Jake intended to kill or cause GBH.
In considering direct intention, it could be argued that Jake’s aim or
purpose was not to kill or cause GBH but intention was to scare Carson, but
courts is unlikely to come to an agreement that cutting the breaks to a car is
certain to cause death or a certain form of GBH. The defence Jake might raise
is the defence of DR. On the facts, Jake was very upset. Could this be
considered as a recognised medical condition such as p.t.s.d or even severe
depression? Jake and Bella were kissing thus representing a close relationship
of girlfriend and boyfriend. Bella could have been Jake first girlfriend
judging by their age of 18 and first love tends to be of paramount important in
one’s life. Could Bella’s injury caused Jake to develop some form of underlying
recognised medical condition? Defence of DR will stand if the courts held that
Jake has some form of recognised medical condition.
Jake is likely to be charged with murder however if Jake indeed
developed an underlying medical condition, his charge will be reduced to
voluntary manslaughter established in the case of R v Woolin20. He could also be charge with trespass here
as he entered Carson’s house without permission.
R v Jake (Liability regarding Carson)
Jake is likely to be charge with S47 OAPA ABH. The AR committed by Jake
is punching Carson, The MR in this case is Intention to cause hurt. On the
facts, after being punched by Jake; Carson could still retaliate suggests that
the severity of Jake’s punch is not serious therefore Jake might be charged
with battery instead. Jake could rely on the defence of intoxication however
voluntary intoxication is not a good defence. Jake is likely to rely on the
defence of self-defence and it is likely to be successful as Carson started
attacking Jake initially.
Jake is unlikely to be charged.
R v Ryan (Liability regarding Jessi)
Ryan is likely to be charge with murder as mentioned previously. The AR
committed by Ryan is unlawful killing and the MR in this case is intention to
kill or cause GBH. Ryan is likely to argue the defence of loss of control.
Applying the tests of causation as mentioned previously. But for Ryan
crashing a lampshade over Jessi’s head, Jessi would not have died therefore
factual causation is established. In relation to legal causation, Ryan’s action
may not be the sole cause of death however his actions contributed
significantly towards death established in the case of Pagett21. Ryan might argue that Jake’s action might
have broken the chain of causation due to third party interference as he got
lost on the way to the hospital causing Jessi’s condition to deteriorate.
Jake’s action might be deemed unreasonable and unforeseeable which is unlikely
here. Nevertheless, Jessi would not have needed to go to the hospital if not
for Ryan’s action.
Ryan may argue that Jessi refusal of blood transfusion due to her
religious beliefs has broken the chain of causation due to self-induced actions.
However, in R v Blaue22 it was held that the
thin-skull rule was not limited to physical conditions but includes an
individual’s psychological make-up and beliefs. This provides that a defendant
is liable for the full extent of the victim’s injuries even if due to some
abnormality or pre-existing condition, the victim suffers greater harm because
of the defendant’s actions than the ordinary victim would suffer therefore the
thin-skull rule will apply here.
Ryan is likely to argue the defence of loss of control. He was hurt,
angry and jealous. Moreover, they recently celebrated their twentieth wedding
anniversary. Can you imagine the anguish and betrayal bestowed on him? However,
under the new law of Section 54 Coroners and Justice Act
200923 , sexual infidelity is an exclusion to the
loss of control established in the case of R v Clinton, Park
and Evan24. The defence of loss of control will not
stand however under the repealed section 3 Homicide
Act 195725, Ryan could have relied on the defence of
Ryan is likely to be convicted of murder.
2 1984 1 W.L.R. 117
3 2000 EWHC QB 181
4 1843 UKHL J16
5 1961 AC
6 2004 EWCA Crim 3246
7 (1984) 78 Cr. App. R. 276
8 1969 1 QB 439
9 1997 3 WLR 534
11 1976 AC 182
13 (1942) 29 Cr App R 18
14 1997 3 All ER 936
15 1977 AC 443
16 1920 AC
17 (1886) 17
18 2003 1
19 1910 2 KB 124
20 1999 AC 82
Cr App R 279
22 1975 1 WLR 1411
24 2012 EWCA Crim 2