Homicide - Involuntary Manslaughter

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  • Created by: phoebs.b
  • Created on: 13-04-18 15:19

R v Lidar (1999) - the defendant drove away from a fight with one of the antagonists, the victim, hanging from the passenger window of his car, still fighting with one of the defendant's passengers inside. The defendant accelerated and the victim fell under the wheels of the defendant's car. The defendant was convicted of reckless manslaughter and the Court of Appeal upheld his conviction. The prosecution has to prove an obvious risk of serious harm from the defendant's conduct and either the defendant's indifference to that risk, or foresight of it with a determination nevertheless to run it. 

DPP v Newbury and Jones (1977) - two 15 year old boys pushed a paving stone over a bridge and into the path of the oncoming train. The stone went through the glass window of the cab and killed the guard. It is manslaughter if it is proved that the defendant intentionally did an act which was unlawful and dangerous and that act inadvertently caused death. It was unnecessary to prove that the defendant knew that the act was unlawful or dangerous or whether the defendant recognised its danger. 

R v Lowe (1973) - the defendant failed to call for medical assistance for a dying child, but the Court of Appeal suggested that constructive manslaughter could not be based on an omission.

Andrews v DPP (1937) - a driver killed a pedestrian while overtaking another car. It was accepted that the defendant was guilty of the offence of dangerous driving. The House of Lords stated that for constructive manslaughter an act which was intrinsically criminal was required and not just 'a lawful act with a degree of carelessness which the legislature makes criminal'. 

R v JF and NE (2015) - To be guilty of unlawful act manslaughter it does not need to be shown that the defendant intended or foresaw death or even an injury to the victim. The only mens rea required is that needed for the unlawful act. So, if the unlawful act is criminal damage, it need only be shown the defendant intended or was reckless as to damaging property belonging to another. Dangerousness is to be judged objectively. This means that there is no need to show that the defendant was aware that his act was dangerous; the question is whether a reasonable person in the defendant's shoes would appreciate that it was dangerous.

R v Lamb (1967) - the defendant, in jest, pointed a revolver at the victim, who joined in the game. The revolver had five chambers, in two of which were live bullets, neither of which was in the chamber opposite the barrel when the defendant pulled the trigger. The chamber rotated before firing, a bullet was struck by the striking pin and the victim, the defendant's friend, was killed. The Court of Appeal held that as the prosecution had been unable to prove the defendant had the mens rea for assault (intention or recklessness to cause the victim to apprehend immediate unlawful harm) there

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