Thabo Meli v Queen [1954] 1 WLR 228


Thabo Meli v Queen [1954] 1 WLR 228 a Criminal Law case concerning Mens Rea.


The defendant in this case had agreed to kill the victim. They took the victim off to a secluded location and beat him. Thinking that they killed the the victim, the defendants’ threw the victim’s body off a cliff. In a reality the victim was still alive, but died some time later from exposure.


The main issue in Thabo Meli v Queen [1954] 1 WLR 228:

Should the defendant be found guilty of Murder, even though he did not have the Mens Rea when pushing the victim ?


Yes. The defendant’s actions were analysed as part of a general plan to cause death and to hide the body: a series of acts that could be linked within one logical transaction. Therefore, analysed in this way, since the defendant possessed the Mens Rea for murder at one point during the single transaction. As a result, coincidence was found.


[1954] 1 W.L.R. 228, [1954] 1 All E.R. 373, [1954] 1 WLUK 426, (1954) 98 S.J. 77, [1954] C.L.Y. 767

Read our notes on Mens Rea and other cases for more information.

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