Ep 6 – Criminal Intent


Barrister Robert Richter QC discusses an alleged underworld crime case he worked on, and how intent can be proved. Former Supreme Court Justice Betty King talks about the role of the judge and jury in criminal cases.


Lizzie O’Shea introduces the idea that a crime consists of both the action and the intent, that is, what the criminal thought.

Robert Richter QC discusses the Mick Gatto case. It is a classic example because there were no witnesses, and because Gatto admitted killing Veniamin. But what was Gatto’s intention? Was it self-defence or murder? Robert explains how the gun could be used to support Gatto’s claim as having the intent of self-defence.

Lizzie and Robert talk about the burden of proof in criminal cases. Richter also reveals that in most of his cases the client pleads guilty, and then his task is to try and get them the best sentence possible.

Former Supreme Court Justice Betty King talks about the role of the judge in criminal cases, and the relationship of the judge to the jury. She reveals that she has only ever disagreed with a jury once, and that she has found it to be a good system. She discusses the sentencing act and its effect on judgments.

Lizzie O’Shea wraps up by posing the question: have we got the balance right between the punishment and the crime?

Curriculum Areas

Years 11/12 Legal Studies
Unit 1: Guilt and liability, Area of Study 2, The presumption of innocence.

Preliminary Course: Part I: The legal system, 3. Classification of law.
HSC course: Part I of the core – Crime, 1. The nature of crime

Stage 1 – Topic 4: Justice and Society, Is the jury system effective?
Stage 2 – Stage 2 – Topic 1: The Australian Legal System, Functions of Law, Criminal.

Core area of study: Criminal law

3. Dispute resolution Processes, The Jury System And 4. Crime in Society, Criminal procedure

Crime And Introduction to Legal Systems