Criminal liability Essay

The Authority of Cunningham (1957), highlights that one must have foreseen the possibility or chance of the consequence occurring, and the risk taken must have been one that was unjustifiable or unreasonable. Here we understand that Adam's action may not have been unjustifiable and maybe the reasonable man would have done the same if in the same position. This is however once again dependent on what made him throw the brick and whether it was on reasonable grounds using reasonable force. It would not be advisable for Adam to claim automatism as the act he committed was not fully involuntary.

Furthermore he could not claim insanity, as he, unlike Stephenson (1979), is competent of foreseeing or appreciating the risk and consequence of committing the Actus Reus. One could say that Adam has been convicted for a crime of basic intent through wounding. When looking at section 20 of the Offences against Persons Act 1861, we come to understand that the actus reus is described as either wounding or grievous bodily harm. Wounding in this context, means a complete break in the skin, therefore a wound in the form of a graze would be an insufficient wound.

Consequently it would be advisable to look in to the gravity of the wound, and examine whether there is broken skin. However one must be careful about this stance because the act also mentioned grievous bodily harm which can be referred to as serious bodily which constitutes psychiatric harm. It would be advisable for Adam to put into consideration the importance of his age in this case. This is because, for example, it has been stressed that very young children should not be held responsible for their actions. The age of criminal liability is 10.

The only time a child under this age can be prosecuted is if the prosecution can prove the child knew what he was doing had a grave consequence. All in all it is advisable for Adam to place strong emphasis on his intent. All the arguments here are suitable. However he did commit the act and one still had to find out if the consequence, the wound, was grave or just a minor graze. Therefore it is advisable for Adam to claim his innocence on the grounds of his intent. However his intention would be guilty disregard less of his intent.