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Our aim of for both questions is to explore the guilty conduct required of each defendant before s/he can be convicted of a criminal offence.

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In order to address the two problems set out in this assignment, it is necessary firstly to identify the key issues that arise from the questions. Our aim of for both questions is to explore the guilty conduct required of each defendant before s/he can be convicted of a criminal offence. The accused must be proved to have brought about a prohibited situation (through an act or omission) and must be proved to have done so in a manner indicating guilt or blameworthiness. Under the law of England and Wales, there must be a coincidence of AR and MR in a point of law and time1. These two elements of a criminal offence are conventionally labelled Actus Reus and Mens Rea. When discussing below, the liability of the each defendant, I will only be considering the actus reus (AR) of the crime. The elements of the crime may not be easily identified because there are several contributory causes of a result. The chain of causation can be broken by an intervening act, which must be in the nature of a voluntary act, but the chain cannot be broken by further actions or by an omission. Furthermore, the abnormality of the victim does not break the chain of causation despite the fact that his reactions were not foreseeable. I shall be addressing these issues in detail when considering the liability of each defendant, looking in terms of both the prosecution and defense. ...read more.


There is a stronger case for imputing the duty concept in connection with close and similar relationships. So in R v. Instan5 where the niece failed to summon medical assistance for her aunt who died of gangrene, the court talks of a duty founded in moral obligation. In law, of course the niece has no duty whatever to look after her aunt. Had she been paying a casual visit to her aunt, noticed that her aunt would die without prompt medical attention, but had left without taking any measures of assistance then surely the case would have been decided differently. Even though as a matter of law Edward had the obligation as a relative to act, the facts show no sign of a close relationship for that duty to act to be acknowledged by Edward. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * In the second problem, when discussing Tim's liability for the death of Dave, the sequence of events leading up to the death must be carefully analysed. Several complicated events occur before Dave's heart attack. The major problem arising is whether Tim is liable where the original wound had healed before death and another intervening actions caused death. Secondly is whether Tim is responsible for the death where Dave died as a result of some subsequent acts or events which would have caused death in just the same way even if Tim had not inflicted the injury. ...read more.


In such a situation Tim will only be found to have caused Dave's injuries or death where Dave's response to Tim's violence or threat of violence was "within the range of responses whish he was" and it must be "proportionate to the treat".13 Taking the two intermediate events in problem two: the refusal of blood transfusion and re-opening of the wound. If the victim mistreats or neglects to treat injuries perpetrated by the accused, this will not prevent legal attribution of the responsibility to the accused where death results. But if there was not heart attack then Dave would have definitely bled to death, and Tim would be held liable for the death. 1 Thabo Meli v. R (1954) All ER 373 (PC) 2 D.P.P. v. Daley (1979) 2 WLR 239: in the judgment summary of Lord Keith Kinkel 3 Williams and Davis (1991) 95Cr App Rep 4 (1918) 13 Cr App Rep 134, CCA 5 (1893) 1 Q.B. 450 6 R v. Jordan (1956) 40 Cr. App R 153 7 R v. Henningham (1971) 3 All ER 133 8 (1847) 2 Cox CC 273 9 (1910) 2 KB 124 10 R v. Dear (1996) 11 R v. Cheshire (1991) 1 WLR 844 12 R v. Blaue (1975) 3 All ER 446 13 Williams (1992) 2 All ER 183: the wound inflicted made no difference whether the wound was still mortal or whether by the deceased not adopting the best mode of treatment. The court decided that in the end the wound was the cause of death. ...read more.

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