Murder is the specific intent crime and manslaughter is the basic intent crime. If he does not convicted under murder then he will be charged under constructive manslaughter. A person will be liable for murder if he unlawfully killing a reasonable person who is in being under the Queen's Peace with intention to kill [Moloney1, Cunningham 2, Vickers 3] or intention to cause grievous bodily harm [DPP v Smith 4], [Saunders 5]. Murder is unlawful homicide committed with 'malice aforethought' with the penalty of mandatory life imprisonment. 'Malice aforethought' describes the mens rea for a conviction of murder. In this question, Alan's intention was to kill Clive and Betty. May be he will charged under murder.
However, if Alan does not convicted under murder then he will be charged under constructive manslaughter. The substance of this offence is that if he kills Clive in the course of doing an unlawful act or constructive manslaughter provided such act is not justified. Thus the 'unlawful act' must satisfy the criteria. Unlawful act must be more than merely negligent act (Andrew v DPP6). In Andrew, D had been driving dangerously s when he killed the deceased.
Dennis, an old friend from the pub, staggers over to Alan and gives him a hard slap on the back. Alan stumbles whilst pulling the trigger and shoots a paraffin lamp on the bar. It ignites and the pub catches fire.
The prosecution must prove that the death was caus...
Alan may claim that Dennis's act was breaking the chain of causation. He can argue that his act was not legal cause of Clive or Betttty's death. However, the landlord of the pub, Ed, has piled beer crates in front of the fire exits so the only escape is through a narrow door. Clive dies in the fire and Betty collapses in the attempted escape. The accused conduct must be a sine qua non of the prohibited consequence. In R v White7 put cyanide in his mother's drink with intent to kill her later his mother was found dead with the glass containing the poisoned drink beside her three parts full. Medical evidence established that she had died of heart failure and not from poisoning. D was acquitted of murder as he had not caused her death and thus there was no actus reus. He was however, convicted of attempted murder. But here Alan's act is legal cause of Clive's death and Dennis's act did not break the chain of causation.
Section 1(1) of the Criminal Damage Act 1971 provides that a person who without lawful excuse destroys or damages any property belonging to another intending to destroy or damage any such property or being reckless as to whether any such property would be destroyed or damaged shall be guilty of an offence. Section 1 (3) creates the offence of statutory arson-an offence committed by destroying or damaging property by fire. For the offence to be complete some property must be destroyed or damaged by fire. The damage may of course be quite insignificant (it would be enough, for example, that wood charged) In Cf Parkker8, the court held that no visible flame is necessary.
In the Goodfellow9, D was convicted of