The Main Facts of the Case
The main facts of the Jaidyn Leskie case are as follows:
Jaidyn Leskie disappeared while in the care of Greg Domaszewicz on the night of 14 June 1997. ∞
Mr. Domaszewicz said that Jaidyn went missing after being left asleep at his house while he went out to pick up the child’s mother. ∞
On the night of Jaidyn’s disappearance a pig’s head and rocks were thrown at the windows of Greg Domaszewicz’s house. ∞
Senior Constable Evans said he could find no evidence that anyone entered the windows. ∞
A teenage boy discovered the boy’s body on 1 January 1998, at the Blue Rock Dam. A small sleeping bag with a crowbar tied to it and a plastic bag containing baby’s clothes, a bib, elastic-sided boots, a baby’s bottle and an apple were found in the dam. ∞
Dr Shelly Robertson, a senior forensic pathologist who performed an autopsy on Jaidyn, said that the boy probably died from a direct blow to the head while he was in extreme pain from a fractured left arm.
Outline the Law relating to murder/manslaughter. Explain who has the burden of proof in a trial and outline in general terms what is required to get a conviction in a murder trial. You will need to point out the law here and list and explain the recognised defences available to the accused.
In the law, the killing of another person could fall under two categories, one could be murder or it could be manslaughter. Murder is when a person kills another person with malice aforethought. Malice aforethought is one of the six principals of criminal liability that the prosecution must prove for someone to be convicted of murder. The principals of criminal liability are as follows:
The killing was unlawful: this is about if the killing of the person was lawful or not, such as a soldier killing an enemy soldier in battle which is lawful. ∞
The accused was a person over the age of discretion: this means that only a person over the age of discretion (10 years of age) can commit the crime of murder. ∞
The victim was a human being.
The accused was of sound mind: this means that for the crime to be murder, the accused must have been sane at the time of committing the act. ∞
The victim’s death was caused by the accused: there must be a causal link between the action/s of the accused and the death of the victim. ∞
Malice Aforethought: malice aforethought is where the accused must have had the intention of committing the crime (mens rea). For malice aforethought to exist, the accused must have had one of the following states of mind when committing to the crime:
An intention to kill.
An intention to assault a person making a lawful arrest, which resulted in their death.
An intention to cause Grievous Bodily Harm (GBH). Or,
On the other hand manslaughter is when there is, in some situations which result in death, but where there was no intention to kill or cause GBH. A person may be charged with manslaughter if their actions fall into one of the following categories: ∞
The accused intentionally inflicts harm.
The accused’s actions/inactions fall below the expected level of care ∞
The accused’s actions were unlawful.
In defence to the charge of murder the accused could use one of the following defences: ∞
Self-defence: to be acquitted of murder the accused must prove he/she:
had the belief that it was necessary to act to defend themselves or another person.
had reasonable grounds for this belief.
Duress: duress is where a person committed murder while under the impression that if they did not commit the crime they or someone else would be seriously harmed. ∞
Mental Impairment: the accused was unable to understand the consequences of their actions or was beyond reason.
In the Domaszewicz trial, outline the role of the police throughout the whole episode. Detail the key arguments/evidence of the defence and of the prosecution. The role of the police throughout the Domaszewicz case was as...
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