Criminal Law - Murder and Criminal Damage Problem

Topics: Criminal law, Causality, Death Pages: 4 (1377 words) Published: October 24, 2011
Bob decides to kill his wife, Alice. He formulates a plan to throw a very crudely made petrol bomb through Alice’s office window one afternoon while she is at work. He makes the bomb and then catches a bus to Alice’s office.

When he reaches the office block Bob climbs on a fence in order to get a better angle for his throw. He aims the bomb at Alice’s window and throws. At this point the fence collapses and the bomb bursts through the office window on the floor below Alice’s office. The subsequent explosion kills Karishma, Alice’s colleague on the floor below. Alice suffocates in the ensuing fire. Jake, a fire fighter, also dies trying to rescue Alice. The fire spreads throughout the office block, causing a significant amount of damage. Many employees suffer from the effects of smoke inhalation. When interviewed by the police, Bob admits that he wanted to kill his wife. However, he maintains that he did not want anyone else to perish or suffer injuries in the blaze.

Answer both of the following questions. Both questions carry equal marks. Using case law to support your arguments:

1.Discuss whether Bob may be charged with the murder of Alice, Karishma and Jake; and 2.Advise Bob as to whether he has the necessary mens rea to be charged with offences under s1(1), s1(2) and s1(3) Criminal Damage Act 1971.

The area of law in which this question concerns is murder. It is necessary to consider the extent to which Bob is likely to be guilty of the murder of Alice, Karishma and Jake by his intention to cause death or grievous bodily harm (GBH). Manslaughter is unlikely to be charged as there was no failure to act.

In any criminal case the prosecution has the burden of proof in proving beyond reasonable doubt, the defendant/s (D) should have both the actus reus (AR) and mens rea (MR) elements of the crime. The definition of murder is the unlawful killing of another person in the Queens peace with the intention to cause death or GBH. To determine whether...
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