Gross Negligence Manslaughter

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Rhian Nicole Mason
Involuntary Manslaughter is when the defendant did not intend to the kill their victim.
Gross Negligence is based on the civil tort of negligence
Most cases are a result of an omission
Lord Hevart defined Gross Negligence in the Adomako (1994) case
There are 3 elements to prove involuntary manslaughter:
1. Duty of care
2. Breach of duty
3. Considered criminal by jury
Duty of Care:
Established using rules of omissions
A reasonable, prudent person would have foreseen a serious or obvious risk
Lord Mackay in Adomako ­ ordinary rules of negligence in civil law apply when
establishing a duty of care
Stone and Dobinson (1977) ­ sick sister
Litchfield (1998) ­ captain of a ship with contaminated fuel
Singh (1999) ­ carbon monoxide poisoning
Wacker (2002) ­ lorry carrying illegal immigrants with no air
Adcock (2011) ­ Down syndrome boy
Breach of Duty
Defendant conduct must have gone below the standard to be expected of a reasonable
Risk factors ­ probability of harm or serious injury
The breach must have cause the death, legal causation must be considered
Gross Negligence
Mens Rea element
Lord Hewart ­ R vs Bateman jury must consider conduct of the defendant was so bad in
all circumstances as to amount in their judgement to a criminal act or omission.

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Rhian Nicole Mason
Investigating two cases:
Adomako (1994)
Lord Taylor CJ said Gross Negligence includes:
Indifference to an obvious risk of injury to health
Actual foresight of the risk, with the determination to go ahead anyway
An appreciation of the risk ­ an intention to avoid it but with a high degree of negligence
when attempting to do so
Inattention or failure to address a serious risk that went beyond "mere inadvertence"
Wood and Hodgeson (2003)
10 y/o girl found ecstasy in a cigarette packet…read more


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