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  • Causation
    • Prosecution has to show
      • D's conduct was the factual cause of that consequence
      • it was the legal cause of that consequence
      • there was no intervening act which broke the chain of causation
    • Factual Cause
      • D can only be guilty if the consequence would not have happened 'but for' D's conduct
      • Pagett (1983) - used pregnant gf as shield police shot and killed gf
        • guilty as gf would not have died 'but for' him using her as a shield in the shoot-out
      • White (1910) - poison in mother's drink
        • mother died of heart attack before she could drink it - D not factual cause
    • Legal Cause
      • rule = D can be guilty if his conduct is more than a 'minimal' cause
        • need not be substantial
      • Kimsey (1996) - lost control in high speed car chase, killing other driver
        • acceptable to tell jury it must be 'more than a slight or trifling link'
        • D's acts sufficient cause - even though not sole cause as other driver also speeding
      • 'thin skull' rule
        • D must take V as he finds him
        • if V has something unusual about physical or mental state which makes injury more seroius - then D will be liable for more serious inujry
        • Blaue (1975) - stabbed woman who refused to have blood transfusion
          • guilty of murder as take victim as you find them
    • Intervening Acts
      • must be a direct link from D's conduct to consequence
      • chain of causation can be broken by
        • third party act
        • victim's own nature
        • natural but unpredictable event
      • medical treatment
        • unlikely to break chain unless so independent of D's acts
        • Smith (1959) - received poor medical treatment after being stabbed by another soldier
          • D liable for murder as stab wound operational and substantial cause of death
        • Chesire (1991) - V died of complications from tracheotomy- wounds had virtually healed
          • D liable as act contributed significantly towards death of V
        • Jordan (1956) - D given large dose of drugs which was known he was allergic to after receiving treatment for being stabbed.
          • Broke chain of causation - doctor's conduct 'palpably wrong'
        • Malcherek (1981) - stabbed wife who was put on life support machine but tests showed she was 'brain dead'
          • switching off life support machine does not break chain of causation
      • Victim's own act
        • Roberts (1971) - picked up female hitchhiker who jumped out of car thinking D was going to grab her
          • 'but for' cause of injuries and convicted under s47 OAPA 1861
        • if D causes V to react in a foreseeable way then any injury can be considered to be caused by D
        • if victim's reaction is unreasonable this make break chain of causation
        • Williams (1992) - hitch-hiker jumped for D's car and died from head injuries
          • CA said act had to be foreseeable and also had to be in proportion to threat


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