In thecase of Daniel and Victor, it’s arguable that the defendant, Daniel can be heldcriminally liable for the death of Victor and charged on murder. However,Daniel is able to apply for partial defences under Loss of Control orDiminished Responsibility to change the crime from Murder to VoluntaryManslaughter. Thefirst issue is whether Daniel’s conduct caused the death of Victor. Firstly,with the idea of causation, there are two elements in which need to be met tosatisfy the Actus Rea of Murder, these elements being factual and legalcausation. The first issue is whether in actual fact did Daniel’s conduct ledto the result of Victor’s death. The rule in ‘but for’ states without Daniel’sconduct the result would not have come about.
Applying this to the facts,without Daniel’s act of hitting Victor repeatedly, Victor wouldn’t have fallenunconscious and later died. Therefore, this means Daniel satisfies the causationin fact. However, Causation in law, has 3 requirements which need to be met inorder to hold the defendant liable for murder. These requirements are; whetherthe Daniel’s act was substantial enough to satisfy the AR element, the 2ndrequirement being the Daniel’s blameworthiness and the last being if Daniel’sconduct was the main operating cause. The first issue is whether Daniel’sconduct was a substantial cause of Victor’s death. The rule in Pagett 1983 76 Cr App R 279 (CA)states that the D’s conduct does not have to be the sole or even main cause ofthe result. Applying this to the fact, Daniel’s conduct was the only act whichlead to the Victor falling unconscious and dying.
To conclude, this proves thatDaniel’s conduct was substantial enough to cause the end result. The next issueis whether Daniel is blameworthy of Victor’s death. Arguably, as Daniel’sconduct was the only event to occur just before Victors’ death, it can bestated that Daniel’s conduct is blameworthy towards the result.
Thefinal issue in the actus rea requirement is whether Daniel’s conduct was theoperating cause of Victor’s death. The rule in Marjoram 2000 Crim LR 372 (CA) To conclude, Daniel meets all the requirements in bothelements of Actus Rea for murder, as Daniel’s conduct was substantial enough tocause the end result, which therefore creates his conduct being blameworthy ashe attacked Victor, which led to Victor falling unconscious and later dying,thus also allowing his conduct to be the only operating cause as there was nobreak in the chain of causation. Another issue regarding Daniel’s criminal liability forVictor death is whether Daniel had indirect intention to commit his actionwhich lead to the death of Victor. The first issue is whether Daniel’s actionwere virtually certain to cause Victor’s death.
The law states in Woolin (1998)1A.C. 82, 3 W.L.R. 382, 4 All E.R.
103, that a person (Daniel) is “liablefor murder with substantial risk” of potential harm. Applying this to the factsDaniel repeatedly gave several blows to Victor’s head, which potentiallycarries the substantial risk and even virtually certainty of death. Inconclusion, it can be stated that Daniel’s action satisfies the requirementsthat the defendants actions can result in the virtually certainty consequenceof his acts. Another issue is whether Daniel was able to realise that hisaction were virtually certain to cause Victor’s death.
The law in Woolin (1998)1A.C. 82, 3 W.L.R. 382, 4 All E.R. 103, further states ‘intention couldbe found where D foresaw a substantial risk or death or injury`’.
Applying thisto the case, arguably Daniel could have seen the risk of hitting Victor severaltimes on his head, however Daniel’s mental impairment could arguable affectshis ability to perceive properly. The last issue is whether the Jury would findintention in Daniel’s actions which led up to Victor’s death. Arguably, thejury could find Daniel’s conduct intentional due to the Daniel’s desire inavenging Cheryl’s death and Daniel seeking out Victor in his own home. However,they could potentially be a divide on Daniel’s intention due to the decline inDaniel’s mental stability.
Now, that it is evident that Daniel can be held criminallyliable for Victor’s death, the defendant can argue for a partial defence whichwould change Daniel’s charge from Murder to Voluntary Manslaughter. Arguably,Daniel could use the partial defence of either Loss of Control or DiminishedResponsibility. There are four key requirements the defendant must meet to beable to use this defence in court. The first being, Abnormality of the mentalfunctioning. The first issue is whether or not there’s an impact on Daniel’smind and medical condition.
The rule in Byrne (1960) 2 QB 396 states that the “state of mind so differentfrom that of ordinary human beings that the reasonable man would term itabnormal”. Applying this to the facts Daniel was later diagnosed with depressionand a particular form of psychotic disorder, this could have affected Daniel’sability to reason like a reasonable person, which therefore led to hisirrational conduct which led to Victor’s death. The second issue is whetherDaniel has a recognised medical condition. Therule in s2(2) Homicide Act 1957 thatthe burden of establishing diminished responsibility lies on the defendant, onthe balance of probabilities, is not incompatible with the presumption ofinnocence contained in Article 6(2). Applying this to the facts, Daniel has clear medical evidenceregarding his medical condition, which has been identified by a medical doctor,therefore further supporting his case regarding his diminished responsibilityregarding his conduct in the death of Victor.
Further, this enables Daniel tomeet the requirement for Recognised Medical Condition. Another r Alternatively, Danielcould use the defence of loss of control to help alter the charge from Murderto Voluntary Manslaughter. With the Loss of Control, they’re 3 requirements inorder to be made in order to be able to qualify for loss of control.
The firstissue itself is whether Daniel qualifies` for a loss of control. The rule inthe Coroners and Justice Act 2009 s.54 states ‘D’s acts and omissions in doing or being a party tothe killing resulted from D’s loss of self-control’. Applying this to the caseDaniel was enraged and had a sudden loss of control when he had attacked Victorwhich led to V’s death. Thistherefore highlights that D Anotherissue is whether there was a qualifying trigger for Daniel to lose control.
Thelaw in the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 s.55 states ” In Conclusion,