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…show more content…
Virtual certainty is defined as ‘the result will occur unless something completely unexpected occurs’ (Herring, 2012 p.141). The House of Lord held that the jury is not entitled to infer the intention but only if the defendant realized and the death or the grievous bodily harm was a virtually certain result. Therefore, the appeal allowed in House of Lord and the conviction of manslaughter substituted. Parliament stated clearly that when defendant could foresee the death would be the result of the act did not represent that the defendant intended for murder R v Moloney [1985]. By following this case, the oblique intention can be said to being satisfactorily defined in the criminal law. In the case of R v Matthews and Alleyne [2003], the victim was thrown to the river after robbing by the defendants. Before being thrown into the river, the victim had stated that he was not able to swim as he lost his glasses in the attack. However, the defendants ignored what the victim’s said and thrown him to river and watching him drown. Two of them are convicted of murder. As similar as the Woollin case, the judge had directed the jury that to consider whether the consequence of act was foreseeable in order to find out the intention to kill. The court upheld that finding of intent would be ‘irresistible’ (Herring, 2012 p.141).

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