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doing acts likely to assist the enemy with intent to assist the enemy
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if the prosecution prove an act the natural consequences of which would be a certain result ... then a jury may ... find that the prisoner is guilty of doing the act with the intent alleged ... but, if ... there is room for more than one view as to the intent of the prisoner ... (and) if they either think that the intent did not exist or they are left in doubt as to the intent, the prisoner is entitled to be acquitted.
the jury may well have been left with the impression that, as a man must be taken to intend the natural consequence of his actions, these matters as to which he had given evidence were of no moment.
contrary to Regulation 2A of the Defence (General) Regulations 1939, this offence carried a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. There was no evidence that his broadcasts assisted the enemy nor harmed the United Kingdom. It was argued by his defence team that his intention was not to assist the enemy but to secure the safety of his family. However he was convicted and sentenced to three years penal servitude.
Goddard also referred to duress as a possible defence but ruled that it was unnecessary to consider it because of the particular conditions pertaining while the defendant was under the control of an enemy power. He said that an inference must be drawn that the defendant intended the natural consequences of his acts merely from the fact that he did them, but went on to say that this did not necessarily impute a guilty intent.
Having stated this, Goddard then decided Steane's appeal on the basis of the trial judge's summing up, stating that the various threats to which the defendant had been exposed were not adequately put to the jury and that as a result
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R v Steane 1947 KB 997 is a case decided by the English Court of Criminal Appeal on appeal from the Central Criminal Court examining the nature of intent in establishing criminal liability.
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Goddard, CJ, sitting alone, considered intention, making it clear that the prosecution bore the burden of proving the specific intent required by the definition of the offence. This point had been settled by Woolmington v. DPP in 1935 although no authorities were cited in his judgement. The pivotal dictum in the case is that
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Steane Park Garden is open to visitors from March through to the end of September for private groups of 10 or more visitors. Please contact us for further information. Click to view Map of the garden.