Unlawful Act Manslaughter

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  • Involuntary Manslaughter - Unlawful Act Manslaughter
    • Actus Reus
      • Defendant carries out an unlawful act.
        • R v Franklin (1883) - unlawful act must be a crime, civil wrong is not enough.
        • R v Lowe (1973) - unlawful act cannot be an omission, can only be an act.
        • R v Lamb (1963) - all elements must be satisfied.
        • R v Kennedy (2007)  - not important what crime is committed as long as it is clear and consistent.
        • R v Meeking (2012) - the 'basic offence' was an act contrary to the Road Traffic Act 1988 s22 (causing danger to road users)
      • Which is a dangerous act.
        • It does not need to be a risk of death.
        • DPP v Newbury & Jones (1976) - does not matter if the defendant does not personally find the act dangerous.
          • Reasonable person must consider whether it is dangerous or not.
          • Guilty.
        • R v Dawson (1985) - not guilty due to misdirection.
        • R v Watson (1989) - dangerous but not guilty.
        • R v JF and NE (2015) - guilty.
        • AG's Ref (1995) - guilty.
        • R v Church (1967) - guilty.
        • R v Bristow (2013) - guilty.
        • R v JM and SM (2012) - guilty.
      • And it causes death.
        • Factual Causation.
          • 'But for' test.
          • R v White.
        • Legal Causation.
          • Must be  more than de minimus (R v Kimsey).
          • Must be an operating and substantial cause of death (R v Smith).
          • No new intervening act that breaks the chain of causation (R v Williams and Davis).
          • Think skull rule applies (R v Blaue).
          • Does not apply if the Victim injects themselves.
            • R v Dalby (1982).
            • R v Kennedy (2007).
          • R v Cato (1976).
    • Mens Rea
      • The original mens rea is needed.
        • R v Lamb (1967) - not guilty due to there being no mens rea.
      • No intention or foresight of death is required.
        • Only mens rea is required.
        • DPP v Newbury & Jones (1976)
        • Transferred Malice applies here.
          • Unlawful act does not need to be aimed at the victim .
          • The mens rea is transferred by the original target to the victim.
          • The defendant will still be guilty.
          • R v Mitchell (1983).


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