R v Pembliton (Henry) – Case Summary

R v Pembliton (Henry)

Crown Court

Citations: (1872-75) LR 2 CCR 119.


The defendant got into a fight on the street and began throwing stones at the other participants. One of these stones hit a window and broke it.

The defendant was charged with criminal damage. The mens rea of this offence at the time required the defendant to intend to cause the damage or be subjectively aware that his act might cause damage.

The jury held that the defendant had not intended to hit the window or foreseen this possibility, but nevertheless convicted him. The defendant appealed.

  1. Did the defendant have the mens rea for criminal damage?

The Crown Court quashed the defendant’s conviction. While the defendant had intended to throw the stone, he intended to hit a person, not a window. He therefore did not intend to cause damage to property.

This Case is Authority For…

The doctrine of transferred malice only applies between offences against the same type. An intention to cause harm to a person cannot be transferred to property offence, and vice versa.