Unlawful Act Manslaughter

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  • Created by: Lizzie
  • Created on: 06-04-14 13:29
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  • Unlawful Act Manslaughter
    • The defendant committed an unlawful dangerous act which causes the death of the victim and the defendant has the necessary MR for the unlawful act
    • Elements
      • act must be unlawful (criminal offence)
        • an omission isn't enough
          • LAMB- shows that this offence requires an initial crime to occur. In this case assault did not happen as victim didn't apprehend violence.
      • unlawful act must be considered dangerous
        • OBJECTIVE- would a reasonable and sober person think its dangerous, not the accused?
        • Risk only need be of some harm not necessarily serious- David LJ Church
        • MITCHELL
        • DAWSON- attempted robbery with pick axes. It was held that the fear caused to the attendant was not an act dangerous enough
        • GOODFELLOW
      • the act must cause the death
        • normal causation rules apply
        • CORION- ANGUISTE- threw an air bomb into a crowded bus station. held that act was operating and substantial cause of her death (old woman gets trampled on)
        • KENNEDY- held that victim's voluntary act of injecting heroin broke the chain of causation
        • SHOHID- D attacked Vs in a railway station. Vs forced off platform one gets safe the other gets hit by a train. The unlawful and dangerous act need not be the sole cause of the death so long as it was not trivial
        • AG ref (No4 of 1980))- if the death of V is the result of a series of unlawful acts by D, it is sufficient to show  that any of them could have been the cause
      • must have the MR for the unlawful act
        • NEWBURY AND JONES- D could be convicted even if he did not foresee his act may cause harm, realize his act was unlawful, intended or consider the risk of injury
        • Le Brun- D hit is wife on the chin without intending to cause serious harm. Punch knocks her out, drags her causing her to crack her head and die. Intention as to the punch


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