Nature of Task: Case Study/Research
Assessment Task #1
The Case of R v King
By Haylen Young
Regina v King  NSWCCA 444 revised - 7/12/2004
Elements of the offence
* Mens Rea
The sentencing judge found that it was established beyond reasonable doubt that the respondent, after finding out that Flick was pregnant, that the course of terminating the offspring by any means in his power, either consensual or otherwise was going to be taken and was part of his thought process during the course of Flicks pregnancy up to the events on the 20th of August 2002. Mens Rea in this case concerning a guilty mind in regards to King has been proven by the actions that led to the assault. It has been stated before the court that King sought an abortion upon the beginning of the pregnancy, determining his disagreement towards the life of the child, and his outlook towards the future of the pregnancy, also being emphasised during his conversations involving Jessica Williams and Brianne McCarthy offering them a payment of $500.00 if they would ‘bash’ Flick as long as it resulted in the death of the baby. His honour concluded that this course of actions was evident in his previous actions, therefore proving a guilty mind. * Actus Reus
Actus Reus was proven quite simply by the admittance of the accused, and also reinforced by his plea to the courts as guilty. * Causation
The Crown has taken a look at a number of documents that have noted statements from medical staff that tended to Flick after the assault occurred during her stay at Bankstown Hospital. According to Dr Duflou the stillborn was a consequence of the assault that King had inflicted on Flick. He confirms the crime by his statement, “The foetus was macerated, consistent with demise on or about 20 August 2002....Microscopic examination of tissues identified areas of bleeding in the placenta consistent with having been present for a number of days. Given the history, it appears likely this bleeding occurred at the time of the alleged blunt force assault to the abdomen.” Causation is therefore proved by the medical examinations that took place, determining that the death of the foetus was caused by the respondants actions.
Factors that might have led to the criminal behaviour
The accused and Ms Flick had previously engaged in a single act of consensual intercourse resulting in Ms Flicks pregnancy to Mr King’s child. King advised Flick to get an abortion and terminate the child but Flick refused. This led to the crime where King punched her in the stomach, causing Flick’s baby to die. This background information gives evidence to the belief that King did not support Flicks decision to keep the baby, and refused to allow her to give birth to it. The crime that King has committed is an act that clearly stated his desires and that he had no intention of parenting a child, even if the pregnancy was a consequence of his actions and the irresponsibility of neglecting to wear appropriate protection that could have made it possible to avoid such a decision.
In the interviews that were concerning King, he states that Flick threatened to ruin his life with the birth of their child previously, and also stated the he was angered by Flick as she was smoking during their conversation and suggested that Flick was also threatening to tell King’s current girlfriend about the baby. These occurrences led to the assault according to King. It was set before the sentencing judge that the accused had been intent on terminating the baby by either consensual or non-consensual means.
In conclusion, the main factor that led to the indictable offence in question has been recognised to be something as simple as self-interest. King didn’t desire any children from the union between himself and Flick. The realisation and the fact of her pregnancy contradicted his own wants, and the crime...