Essay Example on A Criminal Property Damage charge can be Given in Cases of Vandalism

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Reference your letter of complaint on the above captioned To determine whether or not you are guilty of an offence of criminal damage it is essential to have a proper understanding of what this offence entails I will therefore provide the following about the offence the definition the elements and the penalty A Criminal property damage charge can be given in cases of vandalism road rage or domestic disputes which tempers fair and things get broken In this scenario you have performed an act of impairing or damaging of a useful item as in the case of Cox v Riley 1986 QBD1 It s noted that you Norris have been charged with criminal damage by causing damage to Ali s rucksack According to section 1 of Criminal Damage Act 1997 it can be said that any person who damages the property of another person with the intention to cause damage to such property or due to being reckless will constitute Criminal Damage However it is to be stated that the person who has caused the damage must be acting without lawful excuse It can be said although the act does not define damage the courts have the responsibility to determine too what extent and degree of damage that has been caused It can be stated that you have been charged with the offence of criminal damage as he had cut the shoulder straps of the rucksack of Ali It is also to be mentioned that your act of cutting the shoulder straps of Ali s Rucksack was intentional as you had intended to cause damage to a person's property According to section 5 of the act mentioned above it can be said that you had acted without legal excuse


Therefore you have been charged with Criminal Damage It can be said that your act of cutting the shoulder strap of Ali s Rucksack did constitute Actus Reus as the act of cutting the shoulder strap of the Rucksack caused damage to the property of Ali making it useless as held in the case Roper v Knott Mens Rea in Criminal Damages Act is said to exist if the defendant acted intentionally and reckless to damage the property of the other As held in the case R v G R to examine Mens Rea a test of recklessness is applied In this case the damage caused to Ali s property was due to a reckless act Therefore you met Actus Reus and Mens Rea However it is to be assessed by the court whether the act of causing damage to the property of the other actually reduced the value of the usefulness of such product as held in the case Morphitis v Salmon Your liability in this case will be restricted to the payment of damages as you your act did not intend to endanger the life of the accused victim Based on the facts it is clear that all the elements of the offence have been satisfied By virtue of your actions Ali s rucksack has sustained permanent damage and cannot be used Further this occurred without Ali even granting you permission to be in possession of his rucksack This is not only an act of vandalism but one of malicious mischief

The act of causing permanent damage to property by cutting the shoulder straps of Ali s rucksack without his lawful permission indicates one component of liability This act is referred to as the actus reus in legal terms The other component of liability is the mental element legally referred to as the mens rea Based on the fact that you cut off the shoulder traps of Ali s bag after seeing him talking to Emma and getting cross clearly shows that you intended to cause damage to Ali s rucksack Ronal in this case was in possession of the Rucksack of Ali therefore in this case he was the baillee and Ali was the Bailor It is to be mentioned that the act of entrusting Ronal with the possession of Ali s property by the latter party creates a legal relationship of Bailment It can be said that a bailee will incur liability if damage is caused to the goods in his possession The liability of the Bailee will be assessed by the court taking into consideration whether he had taken reasonable care of the goods in his possession as held in the remarkable case Coggs v Bernard Therefore it can be said that Ronal can be held liable to some extent however it is to be assessed by the court whether he had taken reasonable care of the property of Ali It is to be said that the act of lending your rucksack to Ali will not affect your liability as the liability as stated in the Criminal Damages Act is restricted to the payment of damages as compensation for the damage caused

The act of cutting the shoulder straps of Ali s Rucksack was done with a view to cause damage to Ali s property and therefore the compensation for the could only the reduce your liability In this case Ronald was a mere witness as he was charged with the responsibility of overseeing the said bag Based on the aforesaid definition of criminal damage it is clear that Ronald cannot be held liable for criminal damage as neither the actus reus or mens rea was present The mere fact that you assisted Ali by giving him your rucksack further illustrates the gravity of the damage as the said rucksack was rendered totally unusable However the empathy and kind act of lending your rucksack to Ali shows remorse This remorse can serve as a mitigating factor in sentencing proceedings which may lead to a more lenient sentence being imposed by the learned judge


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