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Criminal Law - II The Death of the Security Guard

  • Date Submitted: 07/13/2012 05:25 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 52.9 
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I Introduction
This assignment involved actions by Carol leading to the death of a security guard and Eddie, her drug supplier. This paper will discuss Carol’s liability for these deaths.

II The Death of the Security Guard
In New South Wales, murder is established where there is an act of the accused, that causes the death of the deceased and at the time of the act, the accused acted with intent to kill, intent to cause grievous bodily harm or reckless indifference to human life. It is also murder if the death occurs during or immediately after the commission of some other offence that itself carries a maximum penalty of twenty-five years or life imprisonment.[1]

A Voluntariness
The first issue is whether there was an act of Carol that caused the death of the guard. Before Carol can be liable for the death there must have been some voluntary act of hers that caused the death. In Ryan[2] the Crown alleged, inter alia, that the accused was guilty of constructive murder in that the death occurred during the commission of an armed robbery contrary to s 98 of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW). In that case the accused was tying up the deceased when the accused’s gun discharged, killing the victim. The accused argued that the discharge of the gun was an involuntary response to sudden movements by the victim. Taylor and Owen JJ took the view that the ‘wounding and death were caused by a combination of acts done in pursuance of the robbery’.[3] Menzies J was of the opinion that the combined effect of ss 98 and 18 of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) was that if the death ‘was caused by a bullet fired by the accused, albeit accidentally, while he was robbing [the victim], the accused was guilty of murder’.[4] Windeyer J said that the conduct that caused the death of the deceased was a combination of all the acts of the accused, which were clearly voluntary.[5]  

Taking the broad view of the acts of the accused, her voluntary actions (by which it means actions that were in...

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