Maddox Smith Staff asked 4 years ago

Criminal Liability

Adam and Ben are married but Ben has had sex with Charles. Adam suspects something is up because he has seen Ben and Charles kissing in the local wine bar. Adam decides to confront Ben in the kitchen of their house and Ben admits the sex saying ‘I only had sex with Charles because you are so useless in bed!’ This enrages Adam so that he picks up a kitchen knife and stabs Ben in the stomach. Ben collapses and is bleeding badly and Adam, realising what he has done, calls for an ambulance. The paramedics see that there is only one wound but it is a deep one. Ben is taken to hospital and Dennis the doctor sees that Ben is in urgent need of a blood transfusion but he fails to ascertain Ben’s blood group and gives Ben a transfusion of the wrong type of blood. This causes Ben’s liver and kidneys to fail and he dies. Advise as to the criminal liability of Adam and Dennis for homicide by considering: 1. Adam’s criminal liability for murder (mens rea and actus reus). 2. Causation in particular interventions between conduct and result (novus actus interveniens). Is Dennis’ conduct a novus actus interveniens? Academic Services March 2013 3. The loss of control partial defence under ss.54-56 of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 in particular the anger trigger and the sexual infidelity exception as interpreted in Clinton [2012] EWCA Crim 2. 4. Dennis’ criminal liability for killing by gross negligence. Consider Adomako [1995] 1 A.C. 171.       Method of Approach You need to ascertain from the facts whether the elements of a crime defined by the substantive law (here murder and killing by gross negligence) are present i.e. the actus reus and the mens rea/fault. To do this you must research the relevant substantive law and then apply it to the facts. Just stating the substantive law will not be enough to pass the assignment. To obtain a B grade or above there must be evidence of considered thought when applying the law to the facts. Both murder and killing by gross negligence are result crimes so it must be proved that the defendant’s conduct caused the unlawful killing. The same method should be used in respect of the partial defence of loss of control. Do not totally rely on textbooks for research, as there may be highly relevant decisions in the law reports, which are not yet in the textbooks. When using law reports make sure you are using the latest decision i.e. do not use a Court of Appeal decision if there has been a House of Lords or Supreme Court decision, which has overruled the Court of Appeal. Other Instructions The assignment must use double spacing and have clear pagination. The assignment should be fully referenced (including a bibliography and using OSCOLA referencing). Grammar and spelling will be noted. The importance of clear and evidenced writing is key to all assignments. The clarity with which you explain things, the conciseness of your writing and the correct use of references to support your work underpin the marking criteria for all assignments.