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.

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In the first problem, Aisha’s liability for Bill’s death can be analysed and discussed by considering whether she substantially caused the result crime and the importance of her actions for further breaks in the chain of causation. It is understood that Bill jumped out of the window because he was fleeing from Aisha, who had managed to break into the room. The injury was not fatal, and the attempt to escape must have been the natural consequence of Aisha’s actions, not something that would be expected, but something which any reasonable and responsible man in the assailant’s position would have foreseen.

There are several essential ingredients of the prosecution’s proof of Aisha’s liability, laid upon the basis that Bill sustained injuries while trying to escape from assault. Firstly that the victim immediately before he sustained the injuries was in fear of being hurt physically. Secondly, that this fear was such that it caused him to try to escape; moreover that his fear of being hurt there and then was reasonable and was caused by the conduct of the defendant. Lastly, that Aisha’s conduct was such as any reasonable and responsible person would recognise “as likely to subject the victim to at least the risk of some harm resulting from it, albeit not a serious one”.2

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As a defense, this was an act performed for the purpose of self-preservation, being of course itself an act caused by Aisha’s own actions. His action may ensue as a result of fright, caused by Aisha’s anger bringing about a physiological reaction in Bill to jump. The applicable test is whether Bill’s reaction was within a range of responses, which might be expected from a victim in his situation.3 If the reaction was so unwise as to make it Bill's own ‘voluntary act’ the chain of causation is broken.

Considering that Bill was a karate teacher and ...

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