Criminal Law Case Study

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H was a world famous darts player. He was demonstrating his skill at

an outdoor fete in aid of a charity. H offered 50 to anyone who would

place an apple on his head and permit H to throw a dart at it. H

contemplated the risk of hitting such a person. I volunteered, placing

the apple on his head. H threw the dart but sudden gust of wind caused

the dart to deviate from trajectory and hit I’s ear. I’s blood dripped

onto I’s coat. The dart continued on to hit an electric cable, setting

fire to a fete tent.

SUGGESTED ANSWER

In advising H of his criminal liability, the possible charges that can

be brought against him are under the OFFENCES AGAINST PERSONS ACT 1861

for the injury caused against I, for criminal damage when the blood

dripped on to I’s coat and when the tent caught on fire.

I’s Injury

When the dart that H threw had injured I’s ear. He could be charged

under the OFFENCES AGAINST PERSONS ACT (OAPA) 1861. The first offence

is under S18 of the same Act, where it is defined as an offence when a

person maliciously wounds or causes grievous bodily harm with the

intent to cause grievous bodily harm. The injury to I’s ear would

constitute a wound. As a wound has been defined in JJC v Eisenhower as

that the inner and outer skin must be broken. Further blood must spilt

even one drop is enough. This is satisfied on the fact as I was

bleeding.

The mens rea for S 18 is intention to cause grievous bodily harm.

Being a specific intent crime it has to be proof that the defendant

must intent the act and also the consequences. According to R v Bryson

and R v Belfon, intention must be proved and that recklessness is not

sufficient. Applying this to the question, it is difficult to

establish the required mens rea , as H only intended the act of

throwing the dart but as regard to the consequence he only

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