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General Chat Thread, 8 years for cold blooded murder. Pathetic. in General; Originally Posted by localzuk To me, it seems perfectly reasonable that punching an elderly man in the face will have ...
  1. #16

    Theblacksheep's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    To me, it seems perfectly reasonable that punching an elderly man in the face will have a likely outcome of that man falling down. I would also think that it is a distinct possibility that he could hit his head when he does so, which could cause death.
    Which by definition is not murder.

  2. #17

    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Theblacksheep View Post
    Which by definition is not murder.
    It is? As 'intent' in the eyes of the law is as I defined earlier as 'mens rea'. The old definition would make it not murder, but the definition in use within criminal law in the UK would make it so, as the culprit should reasonably have known the outcome of his actions so therefore he had intent.

  3. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by aerospacemango View Post
    So then, how likely is that to happen?

    If it really was "likely" then surely there would be many, many more deaths each weekend from fights in town centres?

    The unfortunate death of the man was, i would argue, not a likely result of punching him. What if he'd had a hereditary weak spot in his skull?

    I'm not here to defend the actions of a thug, but to defend the law's right to charge and convict on manslaughter, rather than murder.
    When you hit a man who is nearly 70 I would fully expect that it would have extreme consquences(and sadly in this case death). And not expecting this show complete disregard for another life.

  4. #19
    mthomas08's Avatar
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    This whole thing reminds me of those who speed/drink drive/tailgate. What if causing an accident during those moments?

    Couple of points, community service, couple of months in prison: Even if the above clips another car which in turn rolls off the road killing all occupants.
    Will most likely get away with all the above and not sent down for life. As we have seen in the so called justice system before where some one has done the above and totally got away with it. Sorry still murder and should be sent down for life.

  5. Thanks to mthomas08 from:

    ButterflyMoon (19th April 2012)

  6. #20
    Busybub's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by penfold View Post
    When you hit a man who is nearly 70 I would fully expect that it would have extreme consquences(and sadly in this case death). And not expecting this show complete disregard for another life.
    True, but irrelevant for the purposes of proving murder.

    To secure a murder conviction you have to prove that the defendent killed the victim (not in dispute in this case), AND that the defendent assaulted the victim with the intention of killing him (mens rea bit referenced above).

    If the victim was assaulted purely for the purpose of inflicting injury, the fact that he subsequently died doesn't make it murder as the intent to kill wasn't there.

  7. #21
    Busybub's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mthomas08 View Post
    This whole thing reminds me of those who speed/drink drive/tailgate. What if causing an accident during those moments?

    Couple of points, community service, couple of months in prison: Even if the above clips another car which in turn rolls off the road killing all occupants.
    Will most likely get away with all the above and not sent down for life. As we have seen in the so called justice system before where some one has done the above and totally got away with it. Sorry still murder and should be sent down for life.
    Er, no. Same reason as previous post. Tailgating and clipping a car, resulting in deaths, is only murder if there is intent to kill.

  8. #22

    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Busybub View Post
    True, but irrelevant for the purposes of proving murder.

    To secure a murder conviction you have to prove that the defendent killed the victim (not in dispute in this case), AND that the defendent assaulted the victim with the intention of killing him (mens rea bit referenced above).

    If the victim was assaulted purely for the purpose of inflicting injury, the fact that he subsequently died doesn't make it murder as the intent to kill wasn't there.
    You're mixing up the definition of 'mens rea' there. If the injuries being inflicted would, to a reasonable person, seem life threatening, then that would be 'intent'. Intent isn't quite the same as 'i intend to punch you in the face till you die'.

    However, yes, a conviction requires actus reus and mens rea to be upheld basically.

  9. #23
    Miscbrah's Avatar
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    Edit - we already covered what I said.

    Except for the part where I'd like the fscker locked up for another 10 ontop of that 8.

    Still, hopefully someone will punch him back in prison. A lot.
    Last edited by Miscbrah; 20th April 2012 at 08:21 AM.

  10. #24

    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    You're mixing up the definition of 'mens rea' there. If the injuries being inflicted would, to a reasonable person, seem life threatening, then that would be 'intent'. Intent isn't quite the same as 'i intend to punch you in the face till you die'.

    However, yes, a conviction requires actus reus and mens rea to be upheld basically.
    Things to tend to get a little murky when it comes to whether the intent was to murder or cause grievous bodily harm, and then knowing the probability that this could also result in death.

    We also have to remember that not only is the age of the victim taken into account but the appearance of the age of the victim. It might sound silly but if someone is out in the streets during the right (has confidence and willing to get out there with little apparent fear) and is being physically active (stamping out fires, moving bins, etc) then it can be argued that the defendant didn't assess the age of the victim to be as old as he was, and that the victim would have been more capable of dealing with some physical aggression (you could argue ABH here) rather than be seriously injured and die.

    Sat talking through a case with some friends recently there was raised about whether we are in a situation that people just don't understand death and injury anymore. We have already had recent discussions about people being desensitised to violence and its results ... and whilst ignorance is no excuse in the eyes of the law it can be a mitigating factor. This can (and does) lead to possible murder cases (GBH resulting in death) ending up going to manslaughter instead.

  11. #25

    mattx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post

    We also have to remember that not only is the age of the victim taken into account but the appearance of the age of the victim. It might sound silly but if someone is out in the streets during the right (has confidence and willing to get out there with little apparent fear) and is being physically active (stamping out fires, moving bins, etc) then it can be argued that the defendant didn't assess the age of the victim to be as old as he was, and that the victim would have been more capable of dealing with some physical aggression (you could argue ABH here) rather than be seriously injured and die.
    I'm sure the thug who punched this man and killed him thought to himself, ' Oooo, he seems quite an active fellow, stamping out fires, moving bins etc, he won't mind if I punch him.....'

  12. #26
    Busybub's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    You're mixing up the definition of 'mens rea' there.
    Sorry, but i think you are actually

    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    If the injuries being inflicted would, to a reasonable person, seem life threatening, then that would be 'intent'. Intent isn't quite the same as 'i intend to punch you in the face till you die'.
    Example:

    Attacker 1 punches somebody in the face, expecting that it will result in the death of the victim.
    Attacker 2 punches somebody in the face, expecting to cause injury to the victim but not death.
    Both victims fall to the ground, smack their head on the floor, and die as a result.

    Attacker 1 is guilty or murder (intent to kill)
    Attacker 2 is guilty of manslaughter (no intent to kill)

    "Section 8 of the Criminal Justice Act 1967, which now deals with how intention or foresight must be proved, provides:

    A court or jury in determining whether a person has committed an offence, (a) shall not be bound in law to infer that he intended or foresaw a result of his actions by reason only of its being a natural and probable consequence of those actions; but (b) shall decide whether he did intend or foresee that result by reference to all the evidence drawing such inferences from the evidence as appear proper in the circumstances."

    In this case there appears to be little or nothing in the way of premeditation or planning that would be evidence to support a contention that the attacker expected the victim to die which would be required to convict for murder. We can argue whether death is a probable consequence of punching somebody in the face (a judgement call of a particular jury), but this is a far cry from shooting somebody in the head, blowing up a bus, or repeatedly punching somebody to death.




    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    However, yes, a conviction requires actus reus and mens rea to be upheld basically.

  13. #27

    RabbieBurns's Avatar
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    from what i understand from watching the US crime shows on TV, theres a law that says is something happens while in the act of another crime, then a maximum penalty applies.

    There are loads of exaplles (from tv shows) I can cite, and I would like to think they reflect real law.

    Point is, if me and you get into a fight in a pub, or over something trivial like you kissed my girl etc, and I punch you, and you fall to the deck and die from hitting your head, then for sure that is manslaugher. Your mother will hate me for it and class me a murderer. My mohter would do the same if it was you. If I had punched you and you had died I would live the rest of my life feeling dreadful.

    Point is, the act of the death occured whilst in the midst of other crimes. In the USA ( from TV) these crimes compound. So the fact I punched you whilst I was committing other crimes, should compound.

    On the flip side, screw it... lets go looting and get some free stuff and punch anyone that gets in our way.

    <with 0 law knowledge of Scots law or the english/welsh law and just a rant>
    Last edited by RabbieBurns; 27th April 2012 at 05:27 PM.

  14. #28


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    Quote Originally Posted by RabbieBurns View Post
    from watching the US crime shows on TV
    It's a shame we don't have a US-style Castle Doctrine. Burglars always seem to have more rights than home owners do in the UK.

  15. #29

    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Busybub View Post
    Sorry, but i think you are actually

    Example:

    Attacker 1 punches somebody in the face, expecting that it will result in the death of the victim.
    Attacker 2 punches somebody in the face, expecting to cause injury to the victim but not death.
    Both victims fall to the ground, smack their head on the floor, and die as a result.

    Attacker 1 is guilty or murder (intent to kill)
    Attacker 2 is guilty of manslaughter (no intent to kill)

    "Section 8 of the Criminal Justice Act 1967, which now deals with how intention or foresight must be proved, provides:

    A court or jury in determining whether a person has committed an offence, (a) shall not be bound in law to infer that he intended or foresaw a result of his actions by reason only of its being a natural and probable consequence of those actions; but (b) shall decide whether he did intend or foresee that result by reference to all the evidence drawing such inferences from the evidence as appear proper in the circumstances."

    In this case there appears to be little or nothing in the way of premeditation or planning that would be evidence to support a contention that the attacker expected the victim to die which would be required to convict for murder. We can argue whether death is a probable consequence of punching somebody in the face (a judgement call of a particular jury), but this is a far cry from shooting somebody in the head, blowing up a bus, or repeatedly punching somebody to death.
    Interesting then that the definition and explanation I used were the ones used by a judge in a case against myself in Crown Court. ie. My intentions were drawn from them being supposedly a logical consequence of an action undertaken by myself, but in fact were not the intention of myself at the time.

    However, if that law is the case, I wish someone had highlighted it to me at the time, as it would probably have tipped the balance in favour of an appeal (too late now).

    Personally, I prefer the old way of considering things - as it puts the onus on the individual to actually pay attention to what they're doing, rather than just swinging fists and not wondering about what might happen.

  16. #30

    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    One of the things to be careful about when talking about with regards to mens rea and murder is that you also have to consider intent when dealing with GBH, as with GBH there is always the risk of serious injury including those which result in death. That is why the defence can sometimes rest on whether the defendant was intending to cause serious injury, if they had the ability to understand what a serious injury is, etc. This is why the previous violent history is crawled over by the prosecutor as well as previous experience and violent sports.

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