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Regina v. Faulkner

Court of Crown Cases Reserved Ireland
13 Cox C.C. 550 (1877)


Facts

While serving as a seaman on a cargo ship, Faulkner (defendant) broke into a hold intending to steal rum stored in a cask. When rum began to pour out of a hole that Faulkner had bored in the cask, Faulkner lit a match while trying to stop up the hole with a spike. The match set the rum on fire, and the fire burned Faulkner and eventually destroyed the ship. Faulkner was indicted for the felony of setting the ship on fire as well as for stealing the rum. At Faulkner’s trial, the Crown (plaintiff) argued that because Faulkner was committing the felony of theft when the fire began, the issue of his intent to start the fire was irrelevant. The judge instructed the jury that if they found that Faulkner was engaged in committing the felony of stealing rum when the fire started, they should also find him guilty of setting the ship on fire. The jury found Faulkner guilty on both counts. Faulkner appealed his conviction for setting the ship on fire to the Court of Crown Cases Reserved Ireland.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Barry, J)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
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  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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Concurrence (Fitzgerald, J.)

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Concurrence (O’Brien, J.)

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Dissent (Keogh, J.)

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