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R v G

[2004] Crim L R 369

Case summary last updated at 15/01/2020 07:27 by the Oxbridge Notes in-house law team.

Judgement for the case R v G

Two boys set fire to some papers and this ended up causing £2m damage. They were convicted at trial with the judge directing the jury (as he was bound to do after Caldwell) that if the risk the boys created was obvious to the reasonable bystander they were guilty of recklessness and hence arson. HL allowed the boys’ appeal, iverruling Caldwell and determining that the test they would now apply was subjective. The word “reckless” in Criminal Damage Act (CDA) was not intended to overrule the mens rea (as the objective test did). The objective interpretation was regarded as “offensive to principle and apt to cause injustice” (Lord Bingham). 

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