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Transferred Malice
 
 
 
 
 
 
The doctrine of transferred malice applies where the mens rea of one offence can be transferred to another. For example, suppose A shoots at B intending to kill B, but misses and hits and kills C. Transferred malice can operate so that the mens rea of A (intention to kill B) can be transferred to the killing of C. Consequently A is liable for the murder of C, despite the fact that he did not actually intend to kill C.
 
 
An early illustration of transferred malice:
 
 
R v Saunders (1573) 2 Plowd 473   Case summary
 
 
 
A further example of transferred malice:
 
 
 
R v Latimer (1886) 17 QBD 359     Case summary

 

 
Transferred malice does not operate where the crime which occurred was different from that intended:
 
 
 
R v Pembliton (1874) LR 2CCR 119   Case summary
 
 
A-G Ref NO. 3 OF 1994           Case summary

 

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The doctrine of transferred malice