Gross Negligence Manslaughter

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  • Gross Negligence Manslaughter
    • Adomako (1994) - anaesthetist failed to notice tube had disconnected
      • existence of a duty of care towards V
      • breach of that duty which causes death
      • breach must be so grossly negligent to justify a criminal conviction in the jury's eyes
    • Duty of Care
      • defined by principles of negligence in Donoghue v Stevenson (1932)
        • must take reasonable care to avoid acts and omission which you can reasonably foresee would be likely to injure your neighbour
      • Singh (1999) - landlord of property where fault gas fire caused death
        • convicted as duty to maintain and manage property
      • Litchfield (1998) - set sail knowing engines might fail and 3 crew died
        • convicted as owed duty to crew
      • Wacker (2002) - bought 60 illegal into UK in lorry  - closed air vent killing 58 of them
        • CA upheld conviction - immigrants relied on him and owed them duty even though enterprise criminal
      • CA also decided that a duty of care can exist where D has created a state of affairs which he knows or ought to reasonably to know has become life-threatening
        • Evans (2009) - gave heroin to half-sister who self injected. girl collapse and D + mum put girl to bed
          • Mum had duty of care for her child
    • Breach of Duty
      • once duty has been established must be proved D was in breach of that duty
      • must be proof of causation
    • Gross Negligence
      • negligence has to be 'gross'
      • Bateman (1925) - D was doctor who attended childbirth. D did not sent woman to hospital for five days and she died = despite medical problems
        • "gross negligence" must be of a degree that goes beyond the civil liability of compensation
      • Lord Atkins in Andrews v DPP (1937) - stated a very high degree of negligence was needed
        • a 'criminal disregard for others' safety
      • Lord Mackay in Adomako (1995) - jury had to decide based on 'conduct so bad' test
      • must be a risk of death
        • Stone and Donbinson (1977) - D had undertaken the care of Stone's sister
          • test was expressed as the risk being to the 'health and welfare' of the sister who died
      • Misra and another (2004) - M + another doctor failed to identify and treat infection in patient after knee operation
        • CA upheld convictions are risk of death and argument that elements of GN unclear and breach of ECHR Art 7 rejected

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