See Assignment Criteria

The three elements are present in the given problem. First, the killing of Danni was unlawful. Based on the facts presented in the given problem, Sharon does not have any lawful reason to kill Danni. Second, Danni who is the victim in the given problem is a life in being. Finally, Danni could be liable for murder or manslaughter because her act of sending a mail bomb (though merely intended to frighten Gordon) actually caused or brought about the instant death of the victim Sharon. Thus, in R. v Smith (1959)2, where the victim was stabbed and died shortly afterwards, the fact that adequate medical care was not available could not be relied upon by the defendant, even though such care, if available, would probably have saved the victim’s life. As long as the stab wound remained an operative cause of death, the defendant was guilty of murder. In the given problem, the mail bomb sent by Sharon was the operative cause of Danni’s death. Hence, Sharon is criminally liable for Danni’s death.
In the case of R. v McFeely [1977] N.I. 149, the accused waited in a car while two men planted a bomb at an inn and carried out a robbery. After the two men warned the occupants that a bomb had been planted, the accused drove the two men away. As a result of the explosion, a police constable was killed. The accused was charged with murder and robbery. In its decision, the court held that the accused was not guilty of murder as although he knew the bomb was to be planted he also knew that a warning was to be given and that he didn’t knew that it was probable that serious personal injury would result. Since the unlawful acts of the two men involved a risk of injury and as death had resulted, the accused was held guilty of manslaughter only. Applying McFeely, Sharon cannot be guilty of murder but for manslaughter only because even if Sharon knew the mail bomb was to be delivered to Gordon, death could not probably be the result as Sharon only intends to frighten Gordon.
In R. v Loudon3, the accused drove a van containing a bomb into the premises of newspaper establishment. He shouted a warning before running off. When the bomb exploded, one was killed. The accused was charged with murder. He contended that there was no evidence that he intended to kill or cause serious injury to anyone and that no necessary mental element was present. The trial judge convicted the accused, holding that the accused knew that there would ensue from his actions a serious risk of death or grievous bodily harm to someone and with that knowledge deliberately drove the van into the loading bay with the intention of exposing someone to that risk. On appeal, it was held that when the accused drove the van into the loading bay and left it there, he knew it was probable that someone would be seriously injured or killed. In the given problem, Sharon could argue that she only intended to frighten Gordon and had no intention of inflicting any bodily harm or death. Thus, she could only be held guilty of manslaughter and not murder. In R. v Bateson4, the accused was only convicted of manslaughter and not murder because according to the court, to be guilty of murder a person must know that it is probable that as a result of his or her actions someone will suffer death or serious personal injury. In Bateson, the trial judge convicted the accused of murder holding that she knew that there w