Scenario Essay

1073 words - 5 pages

In this scenario offences committed by both Gary and Mira, of which they can be found guilty or not guilty. The fatal offences in this scenario are murder, voluntary and involuntary manslaughter. As well as considering the five main non-fatal offences which are, assault, battery, assault occasioning actual bodily harm , malicious wounding or inflicting grievous bodily harm , and wounding or causing GBH with intent.
All criminal offences have to comprise of the actus reus (every element that constitutes an offence according to the definition apart from the mental element) and mens rea (the metal element, the ‘guilty mind’) in order for the defendant to be liable. The only exclusion is strict liability offences. The actus reus and mens rea for each offence is different.

Firstly, in the scenario a battery was committed against Mira as she stood in the queue, the actus reus of battery is the ‘application of unwanted, unlawful force to the victim this can be applied directly or indirectly’ (Faulkner v Talbot 1981). The mens rea is ‘intention to apply unwanted unlawful force to another, or being reckless as to whether the force is unwanted.’ A battery is committed against Mira, however an assault was not because she was pushed from behind and so could not apprehend violence. The actus reus of assault is any act that causes another to apprehend immediate, unlawful, personal violence (Fagan 1968). Gary qualifies for having the actus reus of battery against Mira however, does not qualify for the mens rea, thus he will not be found guilty of the offence.
Secondly, as Mira ‘furiously’ turns around and says ‘What do you think you are doing?’ she may have committed an assault on Gary, depending on whether he apprehended immediate, unlawful, personal violence. It seems unlikely that Mira will be found guilty of an assault as a result of this because Gary apologies and explains his situation not seeming to apprehend harm.
Also as Mira says “But let’s see how you like it” she potentially committed an assault on Gary, then when Mira pushes Gary in the chest she has committed an assault and battery, as Gary saw the push coming. Mira is likely to be found guilty of assault and battery when she threatens and then pushes Gary.
Then as Gary falls on Clogda he has theoretically committed GBH (under s20 of the Offences Against the Persons act 1861) on Clogda due to the severity of her injuries. GBH means really serious harm (DPP v Smith), In Saunders ‘the word really simply ethicise how serious the harm has to be’ Missing out the word really is not a misdirection.
However there is an issue of transferred malice. ‘Transferred malice is a means of imposing liability for the unplanned consequences of deliberate wrongdoing… Transferred malice only applies if the actus reus of the offence committed matches the actus reus of the offence planned.’ The scenario is similar to the case of Latimer 1886, the courts held that ‘…a man who has an unlawful malicious intent...

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