Criminal Law Homicide

Answer the following questions:

1. Paul entered John?s house to see if there was any money he could steal. Not finding any, he decided to force the gas meter in case it contained some. He found it empty, but in doing this he damaged it allowing gas to escape. Some hours later John returned home. As soon as he entered the house he switched on the electric light, and a spark from the switch ignited the gas. John was killed in the resulting explosion and his wife Katy was seriously burnt and was left with severe scars. Six months later she went into hospital for plastic surgery to her face. Tom, the anaesthetist, had been to a rugby club dinner the previous night and was very tired and suffering from a bad hangover. During the operation a pipe to the ventilator that supplied oxygen to the unconscious patient became detached. One of the nurses told Tom that Katy seemed to be having breathing difficulties and looked in a bad way. ?She doesn?t look as bad as I feel?, replied Tom. By the time it was realised what had happened, Katy had suffered severe and irreversible brain damage and was declared dead.

Consider the criminal liability of Paul and Tom for the deaths of John and Katy.
2. Amelia has been living with Paul for three years. Whilst appearing to be gentle and kind at the beginning of the relationship, Paul has now become frequently aggressive and abusive towards Amelia, both physically and verbally. On several occasions when Paul has made offensive comments to Amelia and accompanied this by physical acts of violence she has resolved to leave him. However, he is always repentant the next day and she has stayed. She lacks confidence, particularly in her appearance and finds herself unattractive, and is worried that she will not find another man. This is particularly important given that she is two months pregnant, and she feels it important that there is a man in her life to father the child. She has not yet informed Paul of her condition. One day, Paul becomes angry when Amelia fails to return home from work on time (she has a check-up at the hospital). When she returns home he pours boiling water from the kettle over Amelia?s arm. Concerned for the safety of her unborn child, Amelia tells Paul that this time she is leaving him for good. Paul responds by calling her fat and saying that she is lucky to have him, as no other man would want her. Amelia goes upstairs to pack, and can only think of the hurtful remarks that Paul has made. When she takes her suitcase downstairs Paul is blocking her exit through the front door, and so she grabs a knife from the kitchen and repeatedly stabs him in the chest, until he stops moving. Paul dies of his wounds.

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Discuss the criminal liability of Amelia.



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