January 2013 Aqa Law

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Law- Murder is defined as an unlawful killing of a reasonable creature in being under the King’s peace with malice aforethought, express or implied. For Helen to satisfy the AR of murder (the unlawful killing) she must be the factual and legal cause of the death. We use the but for test, which shows if the consequence would or wouldn’t of happened ‘but for’ the Ds actions. As in the case of R v White, ‘but for’ him poisoning his mothers drink, she would of died anyway as she died of a heart attack, so he was not guilty of murder. ‘But for’ Helen throwing the firework in the room, Ian would not have died so she was the factual cause of death. Also, the legal causation is necessary, which is where the D must be the ‘operating and…show more content…
The LOC subjective test is defined in R v Richens and can be looked at subjectively taking into account the D’s personal characteristics. Helen suffers from a personality disorder with the symptoms being ‘short temper and aggression when under stress’, and also suffered months of violence from her partner, so to conclude Helen did lose LOC and attempted to seriously harm Ian. The fear trigger can be used if the D feared violence from the V. Due to the past of violence Helen experienced, and the threat Ian made about ‘beating’ her the next morning, she had a fear of violence. However, the act makes it clear the D cannot use the fear trigger if there was a ‘considered desire for revenge’. As in the case of R v Baillie, if there is evidence which shows the provocation (the threat) was enough to make a reasonable man lose self control, with no cooling down period between, this is not considered a desire for revenge. A threat of a beating to a reasonable person would not make them lose control and kill so this cannot be used. In the case of Ahluwalia, the ratio shows where the D fears a future attack, like Helen does, and they kill the fear trigger cannot be used as a defence. However, as the case of Thornton explains, if there is evidence of previous violence to the D by V, it is more likely the D suffered LOC from the things said/done up to and including the final event. The anger trigger takes into account things said or done

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