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R v Prince

[1875] LR 2 CCR 154

Case summary last updated at 15/01/2020 07:49 by the Oxbridge Notes in-house law team.

Judgement for the case R v Prince

 A man took a girl who was under 16 out of her father’s possession, against the father’s will (which at this time was a crime), though he believed her to be older than 16. The question was whether there was always a presumption that the legislature always intended there to be a mens rea element of the crime. Only one of the many judges believed it so, and hence the appeal was dismissed. An argument was put forward that (the age of consent being 13 at the time, though a minor between 10-12 was just a misdemeanour, whereas 0-10 was a felony) if a man had sex with a nine year old, believing her to be 10, he would be guilty neither of the felony (since his misconception about her age prevented his having the necessary mens rea) nor of the misdemeanour (since the girl was under10). 

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