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R v Heard

[2007] 3 WLR 475

Case summary last updated at 13/01/2020 14:58 by the Oxbridge Notes in-house law team.

Judgement for the case R v Heard

 D was drunk and rubbed his penis against V’s leg and was convicted of sexual assault. He appealed on the grounds that sexual assault should be considered a crime of specific intent. CA said it was a crime of basic intent and therefore D’s conviction was upheld. CA said that, broadly speaking specific intent crimes required mens rea to include thinking as to consequence or purpose, whereas basic intent crimes simply require mens rea as to the actus reus: not the consequences. However, CA acknowledge that there was no universal test for distinguishing them; that it was a matter of policy; and that it was to be worked out on a case by case basis. 

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