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The PHYSICAL element of a crime.
Prosecution must prove that it is UNLAWFUL and VOLUNTARY.…read more

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Duty under a CONTRACT
· R v Pittewood ­ Railway crossing, failed to shut the gate.
· R v Dytham ­ Policeman drove away from an attack.
Duty take on VOLUNTARILY
· Stone and Dobinson ­ Failed to look after someone who they volunteered to
look after.
· R v Gibbons and Proctor ­ Failed to feed their daughter.
Duty through a CHAIN OF EVENTS
· R v Miller ­ Failed to put out or alert anyone about the fire he had started.…read more

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Examples of when someone could be driving involuntarily:
If a swarm of bees came through the window,
If you had a heart attack,
If a stone came through the window and hits your head.…read more

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R v Pittewood ­ failed to close the railway gate
R v Dytham ­ failed to stop an attack
Stone and Dobinson ­ failed to care for an elderly relative taken on
R v Gibbons and Proctor ­ failed to care for their daughter
R v Miller ­ failed to minimise the danger after he'd started a chain of
R v Larsoneur ­ deported back to England against her will
R v Bland ­ turned off life support machine after Hillsborough disaster
Hill v Baxter ­ examples of when someone could be driving involuntarily…read more

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The actus reus of an offence is the physical element, the defendant's act or omission
must be unlawful and voluntary. An act which would otherwise be unlawful, may be
excused if it is done in self-defence under s.3 Criminal Law Act 1967. Hill v Baxter gave
examples of when someone could be driving involuntarily; if they were stung by a swarm
of bees, had a heart attack or were hit by a stone whilst driving. In all of these situations,
the actus reus would be involuntary and therefore not valid. There is usually no liability
for omissions, failing to do something, however Parliament may create liability for an
omission; for example, failing to report a road traffic accident, or there may be liability
for an omission if the defendant owes the victim a duty of care and they fail to meet that
duty. In Pittewood, the defendant failed to do his duty through lowering the railway
barrier. There can be a duty of care through one's official position; in Dytham, the
defendant was a policeman who failed to prevent a man being beaten up. Duty can be
assumed voluntarily; in Stone and Dobinson, the defendant failed to look after their
elderly relative. In Gibbons and Proctor, the defendant failed to do their duty through
special relationship as they didn't feed their daughter. In Miller, the defendant set in
motion a chain of events creating a duty of care to minimise any further harm after
setting his mattress on fire.…read more

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