Shona And Gilbert Case Study

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Carl is liable for the deaths of both Shona and Gilbert. Even though he most likely did not mean to kill Shona when she tumbled down the stairs, he still would liable for the offence of reckless manslaughter by the loss of control. As for Gilbert, he intentionally hit him over the head resulting in his death and giving rise to the offence of homicide.

The physical conduct prohibited by a crime is the actus reus. Carl’s acts to ‘hurl himself’ at Shona and ‘hit Gilbert over the head’ with a vase caused the consequence of the resultant crimes, that is, manslaughter and murder respectively. Causation, in this case, is a crucial element of establishing the actus reus. The prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Carl’s acts caused
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The presence of the fault element, in addition to the actus reus, is an essential condition for imposing liability in serious offences, such as in Carl’s case. The intentional hitting over the head and the time it took for Gilbert to die was a continuing course of conduct (Thabo Meli) and would satisfy the coinciding of actus reus and mens rea. Mens reus is, however, is not normally concerned with the motive of the conduct but more with the foreseeability of the consequences. It could be argued that Carl did not foresee the scuffle with Shona to have led to her falling down the stairs and dying. Also, it was not foreseeable that Gilbert would die because of being hit with a vase. Was he mentally aware with respect to his conduct? Given his medical condition he may not have been and so, could form his defence relieving him from liability for the offences.

Mens rea always entails a state of mind when concerned with the actus reus, either recklessness, intention, negligence or blameless inadvertence. Shona’s death could be argued to be recklessness. He loved her and probably did not intend for her to fall down the stairs and die. Gilbert’s death, on the other hand, may be argued to be oblique or directly intentional. Carl was upset that his wife was leaving him for another man, and in a fit of rage, fully intended to harm Gilbert knowing the

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