Answer the question below
Mark and Sarah are solicitors who work together in a firm of Solicitors. The working environment is very competitive and stressful. One day an announcement is made that the firm is downsizing as a consequence of the wider economic environment caused by COVID-19. This means that several people will lose their jobs. Senior Solicitors have been asked to assess each person working in their department, with a view to identifying those who should be made redundant.
Sarah, who is determined to keep her job at all costs, decides to sabotage her co-workers. She spreads malicious rumours around the office about several colleagues in her department, including Mark, who she claims is incompetent, lazy, and a drug addict. Worried that her efforts at blackening Mark’s reputation will not have the desired effect, Sarah also plants a small quantity of drugs in Mark’s desk drawer. She then sends an email to the head of their team, Carina, telling her that she suspects that Mark is ‘drugged up’ at work, and that she earlier caught him bent over his desk drawer, where he appeared to be sniffing something. When Carina investigates, she finds the drugs. Mark is called into her office and promptly fired. He is told that because drugs were found in his desk drawer, he is not entitled to a redundancy payment and that he will not be provided with a reference.
Feeling confused and upset, Mark, who has never taken drugs, goes to the pub across the road where he runs into another colleague, Archie. Mark is distraught at losing his job. He feels that he has been unjustly treated and knows that he will find it difficult to find another job due to the circumstances involved. As a single father to three young children, he is very worried about how he is going to support his family. Mark and Archie have a couple of drinks together and during the course of the conversation Archie tells Mark that Sarah has been spreading rumours about him and probably set him up by planting drugs in his desk.
Furious, Mark returns to the office to confront Sarah. He barges into her office. They get into a bitter argument, during the course of which Sarah pushes Mark towards the door, yelling at him: “Get out of here. Everyone knows that you are a terrible solicitor – you’d have lost your job anyway. Your wife is lucky she left you – and if there is any justice, your children will be taken away from you. You are not fit to be a father. You’re just dirt.” Mark grabs her by the throat and shakes her until she collapses on the ground dead.
Shocked at what he has just done, Mark turns to leave, only to find Carina standing in the doorway. He pushes her out of the way and flees the scene. Carina stumbles backwards and falls, hitting her head against the corner of a desk. She dies as a result of the impact.
Assess the criminal liability of Mark.
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