Unit Criminal Law Level 4 30 Credits Assignment
You are working for a law firm and have been asked to prepare notes on two potential criminal cases in advance of a meeting to discuss a way forward. You are also asked to produce some introductory information for two new paralegal employees who will be attending the meeting as part of their training. You should explain any legal terminology used.
Task 1 Introductory notes
The introductory information you have been asked to provide is about criminal law, punishment, prosecution and proof. Your notes should:
- Evaluate the aims of criminalisation of specific acts and the function of criminal punishment. (AC1.1)
- Analyse the role of public prosecution and criminal standard of proof. (AC1.2)
Handley and Franks
Tom Handley was involved in a fight with Jared Mayton after visiting several pubs on Friday evening. Jared was badly beaten and later died from his injuries. The investigations suggest that Handley had been looking for Mayton to ‘pay him back for stealing his girlfriend’. Alfred Franks, Tom’s friend is said to have been encouraging the confrontation.
Both Handley and Franks have been arrested and are facing possible murder charges. Franks is also facing a common assault charge for threatening one of Mayton’s friends who tried to come to his aid. Handley is saying he was too drunk to realise what he was doing and that Mayton threatened him first and he acted in self-defence.
Handley and Franks attempted to leave the scene in Handley’s car with Handley driving (even though he was over the legal limit) but stopped when the car hit and knocked down Handley’s ex-girlfriend as they were driving away. Franks claimed that she had run out into the road to stop Handley leaving and that knocking her over was an accident.
You are required to write notes pertaining to the defence of Handley and Franks. You need to consider the basis for the potential murder charge, and possible defences. In relation to the case, your notes should:
- Analyse the components of murder. (AC2.1)
- Illustrate circumstances giving rise to voluntary and involuntary manslaughter. (AC2.2)
- Assess the nature of non-fatal offences against the person. (AC2.3)
- Assess the types of inchoate offences. (AC4.1)
- Explain the meaning of assisting or encouraging crime. (AC4.2)
- Examine specific and general defences. (AC5.1)
- Illustrate the application of self-defence rule. (AC5.3
For a Merit grade you must:
- Assess foresight as a mere evidence of intention. (ACM2.1)
- Distinguish between accomplices and secondary parties and derivative and inchoate liability. (ACM4.1)
For a Distinction grade you must:
- Critique the appropriateness of negligence as a form of mens rea. (ACD 2.1)
- Evaluate deficiencies in existing rules and proposals for reform. (ACD 2.2)
- Assess the impact of the Convention on Human Rights on defences. (ACD5.1)
Bromley and son
Peter Bromley and his twelve-year old son Mark were apprehended apparently breaking into and entering a property. At the time, Peter was standing outside a property and Mark was inside the property having climbed in through a window that had been forced open. Mark was disturbed by the owner and caught trying to escape by the back door after an unsuccessful attempt to threaten the owner into giving up his valuables. As far as the owner is aware, nothing was taken.
Peter was found in possession of a bag of tools which he says he ‘borrowed’ from an unlocked van parked outside the neighbour’s house. Peter also says that he was confused having taken some strong painkillers prescribed for his back earlier in the evening and thought the house was his mother’s house. He claims that having knocked and not had an answer, Mark climbed in through the window, which was already open, to check that she was alright.
Mark has a different story, he says his father forced him to enter the property having forced the window with a crowbar from the bag of tools, with the instruction to steal anything that looked valuable. Mark has learning difficulties and has a mental age lower than his actual age. Peter claims that because of his learning difficulties, Mark is quite mad and doesn’t know what he is talking about.
You are required to write notes pertaining to the defence of Peter Bromley and his son, Mark. You need to consider the basis for charges that may be brought pertaining to theft of the tools, burglary and robbery, and possible defences. In relation to the case, your notes should:
- Explain capacity to commit a crime. (AC1.3)
- Explain the components of property offences. (AC3.1)
- Distinguish between lack of honesty under s.2(1) TA 1968 and dishonesty under common law. (AC3.2)
- Compare and contrast robbery with burglary. (AC3.3)
- Distinguish intention to commit crime from an attempt. (AC4.3)
- Examine specific and general defences. (AC5.1)
- Illustrate the defence of insanity, duress, mistake and involuntary intoxication. (AC5.2)
For a Merit grade you must also:
- Evaluate the meaning of conditional intent. (ACM3.1)
Guidelines for assessors
The assignments submitted by learners must achieve the learning outcomes and meet the standards specified by the assessment criteria for the unit. To achieve a merit or distinction grade, the learners must demonstrate that they have achieved all the criteria set for these grades. Where work for the pass standard is marginal, assessors can take account of any extension work completed by the learners. The suggested evidence listed below is how learners can demonstrate that they have met the required standards.