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R v Caldwell [1982]

Facts

  • Caldwell set fire to a hotel while intoxicated, causing criminal damage and endangering life

Issue

  • Did Caldwell intend, or was Caldwell reckless as to the criminal damage and endangering life

Decision

  • Yes (but case now overruled, likely reversing decision on facts)

Reasoning

  • No intent
  • Recklessness is (was) an objective test, satisfied if the reasonable person would have seen the risk to be obvious
  • The risk was obvious to a reasonable (non-intoxicated) person; conviction upheld
  • This case, and the test for recklessness has now been overruled by R v G [2004]
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