R v Latimer [1886] 17 Q.B.D 359

Key point

  • Laid down the principle of transferred malice: intent need not be against the victim

Facts

  • D struck a blow with his belt at a man, but hit a woman V and severely injured V
  • D was convicted of maliciously wounding V

Held (Court of Crown Cases Reserved)

  • Conviction upheld

Lord Coleridge CJ

  • ‘It is common knowledge that a man who has an unlawful and malicious intent against another, and, in attempting to carry it out, injures a third person, is guilty of what the law deems malice against the person injured, because the offender is doing an unlawful act, and has that which the judges call general malice, and that is enough’
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