Parallelewelten logo
Parallelewelten The law essay professionals
0115 966 7966 Times 10:00 - 22:00 (BST)

R v Nedrick [1986] 1 WLR 102

Murder – Mens Rea – Foresight – Intention – Inferred Intent

Facts

The defendant Nedrick held a grudge against a woman.  In the middle of the night he drove to her house before pouring petrol through her letter box and igniting it.  The defendant, without warning anyone in the house then drove home.  As a result of the fire a child died and Nedrick was charged with murder.   The trial judge directed the jury that if the defendant knew it was highly probable that the act would result in serious bodily harm to someone, even if he did not desire that result, he would be guilty of murder.  Nedrick was convicted of murder and appealed.

Issue

Whether a jury is entitled to infer intent if they consider a defendant’s actions highly likely to cause death or serious bodily harm.  Whether the defendant’s foresight of the likely consequences of his act is sufficient to satisfy the mens rea of murder as intent.  Whether the trial judge’s direction to the jury that the defendant could be guilty of murder if he knew it was highly probable that serious bodily harm would occur as a result of his act was a misdirection.

Held

The appeal was allowed.  The trial judge’s direction was a mis-direction.  Modifying R v Moloney [1985] 1 AC 905, the Court of Appeal held that the jury should be directed that they are not entitled to infer intention unless they are satisfied that they felt sure that death or serious bodily injury was a virtual certainty of the defendant’s actions and that the defendant knew this. 


To export a reference to this article please select a referencing style below:

Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Invest In Your Future Today!
Place an Order