R V. Caldwell Case Study

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The case of R v Caldwell was concerned with the law of recklessness and what equates to recklessness in certain circumstances. The defendant had appealed to the House of Lords for his conviction of aggravated criminal damage, however this conviction was maintained. Arising from this decision, ‘Caldwell recklessness’ was formed. This stated that a person is reckless where property is destroyed or damage where: the appellant partakes in an act which creates an apparent risk of destruction or damage of property, or when the appellant formulates an act in where they have not given any thought to the consequences of their act and has continued with the act regardless. The decision in R v Caldwell was reached through interpretation of Criminal Offences Act 1971 . The interpretation of this act was that recklessness was lacking foresight for their act and resulting consequences. This meant that recklessness was established as an objective test. The reasonable person would have seen the risk that the defendant did not, due to their intoxication, so the conviction for aggravated criminal damage was upheld. Whilst seen as unfair and rigid, the test was universal and accounted for no factors or bias due to its strict nature. This decision was made because there was seen a need for new test regarding the meaning of ‘reckless’ when it was encountered

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