The Law of Intention, Following the Cases of Woollin [1999] 1 Ac 82 and Matthews [2003] 3 Cr App R 30, Is Now Satisfactorily Defined in the Criminal Law.

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The law of intention, following the cases of Woollin [1999] 1 AC 82 and Matthews [2003] 3 Cr App R 30, is now satisfactorily defined in the criminal law.

Intention, normally means desire to aim at something. However, in criminal law, mens rea known as ‘guilty mine’, it requires two distinguishable intentions which are direct intention as well as oblique intention, and apart from, also recklessness. Direct intention means the consequences of the action is desired specifically, just like murder. Defendant is purposed to achieve the death or the grievous bodily harm (GBH) of the victim R v Mohan [1975]. Oblique intention also known as foresight intent, means the consequence which the defendant is not desired, however, it is going to happen when he goes ahead with his acts (Law teacher, 2012). An unsurprising side-effect would result when defendant is achieving some other consequences R V Nedrick [1986]. Under these situations, the court will remind the jury to consider how probable the consequence was foreseen by the defendant. Generally, recklessness means to take an unjustified risk. It covers the case of harm such as manslaughter or criminal damage. Objective and subjective test will be applied respectively in different cases. In other words, intention could be the worst culpability in mens rea. Follow up would be the recklessness.

In the case of R v Woollin [1999], the defendant loose temper with his three-month-old son, and picked the baby up and thrown him to a hard surface. The baby’s skull was fractured and dead afterwards. The defendant was convicted for murder, however, the court quashed and convicted of manslaughter substituted. In this case, the court of appeal upheld that there was a substantial risk, which the child could suffer from serious bodily harm. Substantial risk means the act of the defendant made a strong and significant cause to the death of the victim. The judge directed the jury that the consequence of the act is foreseeable by...
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