FAGAN V. METROPOLITAN POLICE COMMISSIONER
In this 1969 landmark case of the English law, the judgment makes a valid point concerning both actus reus ( the act ) and mens rea ( the intention ) to be present for a crime to take place.
FACTS OF THE CASE :
Fagan was driving when a police officer approached him and ordered him to move the automobile. In doing so, Fagan turned his car around and rolled it onto the policeman’s foot. When the police ordered him to move the car off on foot, Fagan yelled at him, refused to do so, and then switched the engine off. Fagan was found guilty of attacking a police officer who was performing his duty. Fagan then appealed the judgment that he had no intention to do so and hence it does not constitute a crime.
It was accepted that a failure to act does not constitute an attack. The judge ruled that:
Although assault is a separate offense and must be handled as such, for all intents and purposes today, assault and battery are one in the same. (433 pages)
Due to this, it was determined that Fagan had committed a continuous act of battery rather than simply refusing to move the car away from the officer’s foot. This was because he had driven right up to the officer’s foot and decided not to stop. As a result, an assault was committed because both actus reus and mens rea were present. The verdict against Fagan was upheld.
JUDGMENT REVIEW BY SREYA MARY.