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Question: Jack and Jill have been married for 4 years. Jill has a 7-year-old daughter from a previous relationship but has been unable to conceive a much longed for second child with Jack.

Over the past year, Jill has been drinking heavily and has become increasingly abusive and violent towards Jack while in this state. Jill typically accuses Jack of being a useless, impotent, failure who cannot give her a child and repeatedly goads him about her former partner’s sexual prowess and reproductive ability. Her violence towards Jack has escalated from punching and kicking him to biting him and beating him with whatever household item is closest to hand. Jack has responded to the various modes of assault by restraining her arms, pushing her away and trying to disarm her of whatever item she is using as a weapon.

On this last occasion of verbal abuse and violence, Jill has told him that she intended to go back to her previous partner, who she described as “a real man who knows how to satisfy a woman”. She then lunged blows at Jack’s head with her daughter’s hockey stick.

Furious and also in fear of violence, Jack “snapped”, tore the hockey stick out of her hands and brought it down repeatedly on Jill’s head until she collapsed on the sofa.

Consider Jack’s criminal liability and any defence(s) he may have in relation to BOTH possible outcomes set out below:

Outcome 1) As a result of Jack’s actions, Jill suffers a fractured skull and brain injury from which she dies
Outcome 2) As a result of Jack’s actions, Jill suffers a fractured skull and brain injury but survives after medical treatment.

Answer: Outcome 1) To be liable for any homicide offence the defendant must cause the death of another human. The required actus reus of homicide as a result crime, is that the defendant’s voluntary conduct must produce a particular result with no unforeseeable intervening act breaking the chain of causation. It is unquestionable that Jack’s conduct satisfies the factual causation element as but for his conduct, the victim would not have died . Also, Jack’s conduct was more than merely trivial completing the factual causation element. In establishing legal causation, determining moral fault, Jack’s conduct was a substantial and operating cause of death. Whilst Jack may claim involuntariness as he had lost his free will after prolonged abuse, acting under necessity to violent blows, true ......(short extract)

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Details: - Mark: Not available | Course: Criminal Law | Year: 2nd/3rd | Words: 1998 | References: Yes | Date written: January, 2019 | Date submitted: March 11, 2019 | Coursework ID: 1054

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