R v Thabo Meli [1954] 1 WLR 228, [1954] 1 All E.R. 373

Key point

  • Acts part of a pre-conceived plan are considered a connected sequence, thus the act inflicting the final blow to the victim need not coincide in time with the mens rea


  • Ds took V to a hut, deliberately got him intoxicated by beers and then hit him
  • Believing that V was dead, they rolled him down a hill to make it look like an accident
  • Medical evidence should that it was actually the exposure that killed V


  • Ds appealed on the ground that while they had guilty intent when they hit V, they did not have guilty intent when they rolled V down the hill

Held (Privy Council)

  • The convictions for murder were upheld

Lord Reid

  • It was ‘impossible to divide up what was really one transaction’, all the acts were part of a preconceived plan
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