Our court

Joe awaits the verdict

So now we know a few more things about how things might turn out for Joe.

As Joe’s trial proceeds, we can expect the witnesses in his case to be asked about what they saw and heard that night in town. And if Joe testifies, we can expect him to be asked about his role in the events leading up to the causing of Derek Simpson’s injuries.

It is not being alleged that Joe struck Simpson, but he might expect to be asked about his relationship with the friends he was out with that night. He can also expect to be asked particularly about what he knew about Alan Riley, who is alleged to have struck Simpson.

At the end of his trial, the jury will return a verdict of guilty or not guilty in relation to the offence under section 18 of the Offences against the Person Act 1861 - causing grievous bodily harm with intent - for which he is being prosecuted.

Do you remember when we looked at Jogee’s case, we saw that even if Person A is not liable for murder on the basis of Person B’s actions in killing Person C, then depending on the circumstances, A may still be liable for the lesser offence of manslaughter? The ‘lesser offence’ principle could also apply in Joe’s case, depending on the circumstances.

So, if the jury believe (beyond reasonable doubt) that Joe intended that Alan Riley should intentionally cause grievous bodily harm to Derek Simpson, they may convict him of the section 18 offence.

If they do not believe beyond reasonable doubt that Joe intended that Alan should act in that way BUT they believe (beyond reasonable doubt) that Joe DID intend that Alan should inflict some physical harm on Derek, either intentionally or recklessly, then they may convict Joe of a lesser offence - in this case an offence under section 20 of the Offences against the Person Act 1861, of ‘malicious infliction of grievous bodily harm’).

And, if they do not believe either of those things, then they may decline to convict Joe of anything.

Let’s see what happens in next week’s learning …

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This article is from the free online course:

From Crime to Punishment: an Introduction to Criminal Justice

University of York