Involuntary Manslaughter Summary

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  • Involuntary Manslaughter
    • Unlawful Act Manslaughter
      • Requirements 1) There needs to be an unlawful act.             2) Was the act 'dangerous'  3) It must cause death
        • The defendant must also have the required MR for the act
          • E,g if the unlawful act was an assault, it must be proved the D had the MR for assault.
          • It is not necessary for the defendant to realise the act was unlawful or dangerous.
            • This is shown via the case of Newbury & Jones.
      • The Act
        • The act must be more than a civil wrong, shown in the case of Franklin
        • There must be an act, it cannot be an omission, this can be seen via the case of Lowe
          • In Khan & Khan the COA also upheld the fact that an omission is not enough
      • Dangerous Test
        • The Act must be 'dangerous', this is determined by the subjective 'Church Test'
          • The case of Church 1966 stated that "such a sober and reasonable person would see the risk of some injury albeit not serious'
            • This means there need only be the risk of some harm
            • A sober and resaoble person does not have to forsee a specific type of harm, only some harm, shown by the case of JM & SM
          • This means there need only be the risk of some harm
        • The case of Larkin shows that there is a need for an unlawful act and the risk of some harm for UAM
        • The Act does not need to be aimed directly at the victim shown by the case of Mitchell.
          • The Act can be aimed at property and still be enough for UAM shown by the case of Goodfellow.
        • What is dangerous?
          • The case of Dawson held that emotional disturbance on its own was not enough to amount to harm
          • The case of Watson established that burglary could be dangerous as soon as it was obvious to the reasonable man that the victim was more vulnerable  .
          • Birstow, Dunn & Delay - this case established that burglary may be carried out in such a way that make the offence dangerous
      • Caused Death
        • The act must have caused death, the same rules of causation for murder applly here
        • If the D injects the V with drugs and he dies then this is enough for UAM.
          • However if the victim injects the drugs themselves then this is a break in the chain.
            • In this case the Law Lords pointed out that ceiminal law generally assumes the existence of free will.
    • Gross Negligence Manslaughter
      • Requirements 1) There needs to be a duty of care owed                  2) The duty of care must be breached          3)The act         must be grossly negligent           4) It must case death
        • Gross Negligence
          • 'Grossly Negligent' such a disregard for the life and safety of others as to amount to a crime - Adamako
          • The jury must determine was is considered grossly negligent
        • Risk of Death
          • Originally it was not lcear the test was that there had to be some risk of death via the D's conduct, or whether the risk only needed to be 'health and welfare' of the victim
          • It was held in the case of R v Mirsa; R v Srivastava that the elements need for GNM were made clear in Adamako.
      • Can be committed by an act or omission
    • Common Law Offence


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