Friday, October 12, 2012

B. (A Minor) v. Director of Public Prosecutions case brief

B. (A Minor) v. Director of Public Prosecutions
1 All E.R. 833 (2000)

B was a 15 year-old who attempted to coerce a 13 year-old into sex. He was arrested and charged with inciting a child to commit an act of gross indecency.

-At Trial, B argued that he had honestly believed the girl was over 14. The Trial Judge ruled that a mistake of fact could not constitute a defense.
-The Judge relied on the case, Regina v. Prince (L.R. 2 Cr. Cas. Res. 154 (1875)).
-B pled guilty and then appealed.
-The British House of Lords reversed the Trial Judge and allowed the appeal.

-The House of Lords found that is necessary for the prosecution to prove the absence of a genuine belief on the part of the defendant, which did not have to be on reasonable grounds, that the victim was 14 or over.
-The House of Lords found that mens rea is an essential ingredient unless Parliament has indicated a contrary intention either expressly or by necessary implication.
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