Regina v  NSWSC 1011 (8 november 2001)
The elements of the offence.
In order for a trial to be brought, the police and prosecutors might be able to prove that the elements of the particular offence are present. In this criminal case both Actus reus, Mens rea as well causation was clearly shown through the behavior of Katherine Knight. Actus reus is the term referring to ‘guilty act’ meaning any voluntary actions of omissions that constitutes to a crime, it is the physical element of an offence Her Actus reus is shown through her act of stabbing him 37 times and killing him. She also chopped off his head and cooked it with vegetables and skinned majority of his body. It is certain to say her act was intentional, malicious and evil. Mens rea refers to ‘guilty mind’ and is defined as the state of mind requiring constituting a particular crime which is the mental element of an offence. It is clear that the murder was pre-meditated. Her mens rea is shown more clearly by the comments made by the prisoner to other persons indicating intention, comments made by Mr. price to others which indicated his fears for his life, comments of a similar kind made by the prisoner to Mr Price in the presence of others and the conduct of the prisoner in the days leading up to the murder. She threatened Mr. Price and said “You’ll never get me out of this house. I am going to kill pricey and I am going to get away with it, I’ll get away with it cause I’ll make out, I’m mad. The causation of the incidence was clear. She wanted to kill him and she performed actus reus and his life ended on her hands.
Factors that might have led to the criminal behavior.
There are a few factors that may account to the behavior of Knight. It includes psychological factors, social factors, and self interest.
Knight is said to have been diagnosed with the borderline personality disorder and to have suffered from a post traumatic stress disorder. Her borderline personality disorder may have contributed to the crime but is said by doctor Delaforce and lambeth that the murder was pre-meditated and her behavior highlights the malign nature of the prisoner. Dr. Delaforce also took into account that the prisoner enjoyed watching gruesome and disturbing videos entitled such as “Resurrection”. His Honour reflects “That video gave to the actions by the prisoner in relation to Mr. Price’s body a sense of “copy cat. Knight had almost performed the exact same task and scene of murder to Mr Price compared to the murder in “Resurrection”.
Although nothing is 100% proven, she has said that she had been physically abused by two of her brothers when she was young and that on one occasion her father engaged in activity suggestive of some sexual connection with her. She has been in two de facto relationships and she claims that she has been sexually abused by David Kellet who was also unfaithful to her, which she results to have had a nervous breakdown. Knight says Mr. Saunders has also treated her very badly and was violent to her. Both of them explain that what she said about the sexually or physically abusing is not true and indeed that “they were the ones being assaulted by her”. Her self interest of revenge is the most major role affecting her to commit criminal behavior, her strong idea of revenge which leads to satisfaction. It is her nature to maliciously revenge anyone who crosses her and she believes that, that is what they deserve.The problem is not that she did not know it was wrong to do such thing, but that she did not care about doing them…” The interview by Dr. Lambeth came to a similar conclusion of the prisoner’s interest and enjoyment in violence.
Reporting and investigation of the crime.
Citizens must play a major role in the criminal justice system by reporting crime. In the morning of Mr. prices death, around the 1st of March 2001, Police were called by next door neighbor Mr who was suspicious of Mr. Price...