Regina v. Prince (1875)

Regina v. Prince
L.R. 2 Cr. Cas. 154 (1875)

Facts: The defendant was convicted of taking an unmarried girl under 16 years of age out of the possession and against the will of her father. The girl, who was 14 at the time, claimed to the defendant that she was 18.

Issue: Is mens rea required to make the defendant’s act a crime?

Holding: No.

Decision/Analysis: The court found that the statute does not specifically state that mens rea (“guilty mind”) is required; the defendant is guilty because he new his act was wrong.

The dissenting opinion stated that since the defendant did not think he was committing an illegal act, he should not be found guilty.

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