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R v Matthews and Alleyne

[2003] Crim L R 553

Case summary last updated at 15/01/2020 07:06 by the Oxbridge Notes in-house law team.

Judgement for the case R v Matthews and Alleyne

M, A and two others threw a boy off a bridge into a river after he told them that he couldn’t swim. He drowned, and the judge directed that if the boy’s death was appreciated by the defendants as a virtual certainty then the jury should convict of murder. They were convicted and the CA dismissed their appeal. The appeal was based on the way the judge presented the “virtual certainty” rule, which was as a rule of law, not of evidence, by differing from the accepted form of “you may not convict unless…” However there was held to be no real difference between the “virtual certainty rule” as a rule of law and a rule of evidence and therefore the appeal fails. 

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