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R v Thabo Meli

[1954] 1 WLR 228

Case summary last updated at 15/01/2020 08:15 by the Oxbridge Notes in-house law team.

Judgement for the case R v Thabo Meli

Some men hit another man and believing him dead, left the body outside. The judge found as fact that the death had not come from the blow but from the exposure of being left outside. The defence said that the first act had a mens rea, but no actus reus, while the opposite was true of leaving him outside. They were convicted and lost an appeal since the judges said that there was really one continued action of trying to kill the victim and dispose of the body. Seems fair, but where do we draw the line as to how far the mens rea and actus reus can be separated for them still to be considered part of the same occurrence? 

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