A case which shows a problem with the
Caldwell test: Elliott v C (1983)
- A backward 14 year old girl entered a garden shed and set fire to it
- Acquitted by magistrates who found that she had given no thought to the risk and the risk would not have been obvious to her even if she had.
- Prosecution appeal- The risk would have been obvious to a reasonable person who stopped to think. The magistrates directed to convict.
- The decision was very unfair because it convicted those who, even if they did stop to think, would not see the risk. The Caldwell test operates very harshly on young people, disabled and mentally ill.