homicide.doc - HOMICIDE UNLAWFUL KILLING MURDER is The...

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HOMICIDE UNLAWFUL KILLING MURDER is ‘The unlawful killing of a human being under the Queen’s peace with malice aforethought’ MURDER This is a common law offence, this is a crime developed by judges not one laid down by statute. THE ACTUS REUS 1) AN UNLAWFUL KILLING For both murder and manslaughter the killing must be unlawful. A killing may be LAWFUL if it falls within one of the following: a) b) c) 2) HUMAN BEING The killing must be of a human being. The law is not quite certain on when an individual becomes and ceases to be a human being. The Foetus – a human being? R V REEVES 1839 This states that a child must be completely expelled from the mother’s body before it can become a victim of murder. It must be capable of an independent existence from its mother. AG’S REFERENCE (No 3 of 1994) FACTS: A man stabbed his pregnant girlfriend, the baby later died as a result.
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If a child is born and dies due to injuries inflicted on it in the womb this will be murder or manslaughter depending on whether D intended to injure the actual foetus. There are separate offences of child destruction and procuring an abortion.
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