Involuntary Manslaughter.

Gross Negligence and Unlawful Act Manslaughter.

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There are 2 types of involuntary manslaughter
Unlawful act Manslaughter
Gross Negligence Manslaughter.
Involuntary Manslaughter is the unlawful killing of a human in being (AR of murder) without intending
to kill or cause GBH. (MR of murder).Being charged with Manslaughter recognizes that you are less
culpable than if you had murder someone, this is reflected in the sentencing where it is not mandatory
life but judges could give life if they feel the need.
There is 4 parts to this crime
Defendant must commit an unlawful act.
The Unlawful act must be dangerous on an objective test.
The act must cause the death.
Defendant must have the required mens rea for the unlawful act.
1. Unlawful Act.
Khan and Khan Defendants supplied a young prostitute with heroin. She injected herself while he was
there and went into a coma. They returned the next day and she was dead. The Court of Appeal
quashed the conviction as there was no unlawful act.
Death must be cause by an unlawful act a criminal offence, not a civil wrong. (Franklin)
Franklin It was held that the civil wrong was not enough to create liability for unlawful act
Another case which illustrates this is Lamb No assault, no unlawful manslaughter.
Lamb Lamb and friend were fooling around with a revolver. They did not realize the chamber turned
so bullet from next chamber would be fired. There was no fear, so no assault.
It must be an act not an omission (Lowe)

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Lowe Defendant was convicted of willfully neglecting his baby son and of manslaughter. The Court
of Appeal quashed the conviction as willful neglect involved a failure to act and this could not support a
conviction for unlawful act manslaughter.
Mostly the unlawful act will be some kind of assault, but any criminal offence can form the unlawful
act as long as it is dangerous (likely to cause injury).
2. Dangerous Act.
The unlawful act must be dangerous on an objective test from Church.…read more

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The usual rules on intervening acts apply Things can break the chain so long as they are sufficiently
serious and independent of the defendant's actions
A natural but unforeseeable event.
Act of a 3rd party grossly negligent medical treatment (Jordan)
Victims own act if unforeseen (Robert/ Williams)
This can be an issue in drug cases if defendant self injected the chain is broken even if assisted in the
injection by preparing the syringe.…read more

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Neighbor principle Donoghue V Stevenson
Lord Atkin "you should take reasonable care to avoid any acts or omissions which you can reasonably
foresee are likely to affect your neighbor"
A duty of care can also be established by using the rules on omissions with the AR. A duty through
Assumption of a duty, creating a dangerous situation and contractual duty. The test is whether it was
reasonable foreseeable that the victim would be injured. Wide test covers a wide range of situations.…read more

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Stone and Dobbinson risk to health and welfare of victim
Bateman Disregard for life and safety of others
Adomako risk of death.
Given the seriousness of the charge of manslaughter it would be seen fair that the test should be risk
of death.…read more


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