Essential Elements of a Crime

Topics: Criminal law, Actus reus, Crime Pages: 4 (1282 words) Published: July 2, 2013
The Actus Reus is a voluntary deliberate act, all elements of a crime, excluding the mental element; it also includes the conduct, or result of consequence, a state of affairs. This happens where can be guilty, it is voluntary deliberate of the defendant (Hill v Baxter 1958) offences against the person act in s20. It must be proved by the prosecution to that the defendant committed a guilty act and also has a guilty mind.

Stephen, a member f the gang Gunho gang has been arrested and charged with the killing of Vincent, a member of a rival gang. Stephen grabbed and punched Vincent in the stomach, Vincent feel to the floor gasping for breath, Stephen panicked and ran leaving Vincent on the floor. Vincent and Stephen already had a hate for each other because they were member of different and rival gangs. Vincent was taken to hospital later on and given a new drug which he had an acute allergic reaction from and died of heart failure, neither Stephen nor the medical staff knew that the victim was acutely asthmatic. In this case Stephen should be held accountable and responsible for either Manslaughter, grievous bodily harm or Murder, the Actus Reus was there since Stephen did intentionally punch Vincent, his intention was to hurt him, since he was dating his former girlfriend, if Vincent didn’t know it was wrong or dangerous in the first place it will not be linked to a voluntary act, as we take for example the case cited before Hill v Baxter 1958, where the driver was attacked by a swarm of bees and drove over a pedestrian, in this case, this was a voluntary act as he did not intend to cause any harm, the circumstance was beyond his control so he was not held accountable for the results. An omission is a failure to act; it is not the act itself. The law only makes a person liable for his failure to act if he has a duty to act. Like in Pittwood (1902) where he was employed as a gatekeeper at a railway crossing, one day he went to lunch leaving the gate open. A...
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