Explaining Crime Essay

Words: 3379
Pages: 14


Causes of crime are arguably criminology’s most important and largest research topic. In this process of research, criminologists and academics have used numerous theories in attempts to explain how and why people resort to crime (Ellis, Beaver, Wright, 2009). The purpose of this paper is to examine a case study first with the use of strain theories (ST), followed by social learning theory (SLT). The first section will involve a summary of the case of R v Mark Andrew HUGHES (2009) NSWDC 404 involving an outline of the offender’s personal life, of his crimes, and his punishment handed down by
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Mr Hughes responded with aggressive behaviour threatening him with what has been described as wire cutter, eventually forcing the man on a bed and telling him to stay there and he would not harm him. The man warned Mr Hughes that his wife was due home and hoped this would scare Mr Hughes off, however it resulted in Mr Hughes tying up the victim’s hands, and gagging his mouth for a short period of time while he continued to steal and ransack the home. It was mentioned that Mr Hughes did not cause any physical harm, however the crime is regarded as very serious. Finally, the court came to the overall sentence for his crimes of eight years and five months, with a non-parole period of five years and five months. The sentencing process considers a range of factors which will be discussed later.
Agnew’s (1992) GST proposes that crime is committed as a result of pressure or strain that is derived from negative relationships and subsequent life experiences or events through those relationships. These relationships include three types of strain that involve situations where a person has taken away something valuable from another, ruined another’s opportunities to achieve a valued goal/s, or the infliction of offensive and unwanted stimuli (Bernard, Snipes, Gerould, 2010).
The consequences of being subjected to strains of this