Criminal Law - Murder and Criminal Damage Problem

Better Essays
Bob decides to kill his wife, Alice. He formulates a plan to throw a very crudely made petrol bomb through Alice’s office window one afternoon while she is at work. He makes the bomb and then catches a bus to Alice’s office. When he reaches the office block Bob climbs on a fence in order to get a better angle for his throw. He aims the bomb at Alice’s window and throws. At this point the fence collapses and the bomb bursts through the office window on the floor below Alice’s office. The subsequent explosion kills Karishma, Alice’s colleague on the floor below. Alice suffocates in the ensuing fire. Jake, a fire fighter, also dies trying to rescue Alice. The fire spreads throughout the office block, causing a significant amount of damage.…show more content…
Alice, Karishma and Jake would not have died “but for” Bob throwing the petrol bomb therefore, the “but for” test is satisfied. Legal causation states for D act must be an “operating and substantial cause” even if the result was affected by an act of a third party this applies to inappropriate medical treatment. Bob throwing the petrol bomb was the “operating and substantial cause” of Alice, Karishma and Jake dying so it definitely made a significant contribution. If the act of a third party is a free, voluntary, and informed one then the chain of causation will be broken as the consequences where not reasonably foreseeable provided the result is that of what D intended. This is insignificant for Alice but may apply to Karishma and Jake, however because the result is what Bob wanted, it is irrelevant as well. D is still liable even if V refused medical treatment or intentionally made their condition worse as, no one should ever put another person into such a bad state. In addition, the “thin skull” rule states D must take their V as he finds them. This does not apply to Alice, Karishma and Jake. If V injured them self, D believes the chain of causation has been broken. However, Lord Justice Stephenson stated for D to be liable V conduct must have been a “reasonably foreseeable consequence”. This is not relevant for Alice and Karishma. This may apply to Jake as it was a “reasonably foreseeable consequence” that he would try to save Alice. The
Get Access