Flashcards in Homicide case law Deck (19)
Murray Wright Ltd
Because the killing must be done by a human being, an organisation (such as a hospital or food company) cannot be convicted as a principal offender
R v Myatt
[Before a breach of any Act, regulation or bylaw would be an unlawful act under s160 for the purposes of the culpable homicide] it must be an act likely to do harm to the deceased or to some class of person of whom he was one
R v Tomars
formulates the issues the following way:
- Was the deceased threatened by, in fear of or deceived by the defendant?
- If they were, did such threats, fear or deception cause the deceased to do the act that caused their death?
- Was the act a natural consequence of the actions of the defendant, in the sense that reasonable and responsible people in the defendant's position at the time could reasonably have foreseen the consequences
- Did these foreseeable actions of the victim contribute in a (significant) way to his death?
R v Horry
(body not located)
Death should be provided by such circumstances as render it morally certain and leave no ground for reasonable doubt - that the circumstantial evidence should be so cogent and compelling as to convince a jury that upon no rational hypothesis other than murder can the facts be accounted for
R v Mohan
Intent involves "a decision to bring about, in so far as it lies within the accused's power, the commission of the offence"
R v Waaka
A "fleeting or passing thought" is not sufficient; there must be a "firm intent or a firm purpose to effect an act"
R v Murphy
(intent must be established)
When providing an attempt to commit an offence it must be shown that the accused's intention was to commit the substantive offence. For example, in a case of attempted murder it is necessary for the Crown to establish an actual intent to kill.
R v Blaue
Those who use violence must take their victims as they find them
R v Forrest and Forrest
The best evidence possible in the circumstances should be adduced by the prosecution in proof of the victim's age
R v Cottle
(burden of proof)
As to degree of proof, it is sufficient if the plea is established to the satisfaction of the jury on a preponderance of probabilities without necessarily excluding all reasonable doubt
R v Clark
(burden of proof)
The decision as to an accused's insanity is always for the jury and a verdict inconsistent with medical evidence is not necessarily unreasonable. But where unchallenged medical evidence is supported by the surrounding facts a jury's verdict must be founded on that evidence which in this case shows that the accused did not and had been unable to know that his act was morally wrong
R v Codere
(nature and quality of the act)
The nature and quality of the act means the physical character of the act. The phrase does not involve any consideration of the accused's moral perception nor his knowledge of the moral quality of the act. Thus a person who is so deluded that he cuts a woman's throat believing that he is cutting a loaf of bread would not know the nature and quality of the act
R v Cottle
Doing something without knowledge of it and without memory afterwards of having done it - a temporary eclipse of consciousness that nevertheless leaves the person so affected able to exercise bodily movements
R v Joyce
The Court of Appeal decided that the compulsion must be made by a person who is present when the offence is committed
Police v Lavelle
It is permissible for undercover officers to merely provide the opportunity for someone who is ready and willing to offend, as long as the officers did not initiate the person's interest or willingness to so offend
R v Harney
Recklesness involves foresight of dangerous consequences that could well happen together with an intention to continue the course of conduct regardless of the risk
R v Piri
Recklessness (here) involves a conscious, deliberate risk taking. The degree of risk of death foreseen by the accused under either s167(b) or (d) must be more than negligible or remote. The accused must recognise a "real or substantial risk" that death would be caused.
R v Desmond
(killing in pursuit of unlawful object)
Not only must the object be unlawful, but also the accused must know that his act is likely to cause death. It must be shown that his knowledge accompanied the act causing death