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Omissions
·Generally there is no criminal liability where
the defendant fails to do something. E.g.
There is no duty to rescue a drowning person
·However there are exceptions
·Where a statute imposes a duty
·Where there is a contractual duty to act
·Where in certain situations the law says that an
omission is an offence.…read more

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Where a Statute Imposes a
Duty
·Road Traffic Act 1988
·Failing to give a breath test
·Failing to provide a specimen
·Failing to give name & address at an accident
·Children and Young Persons Act 1933
·Failing to provide adequate food, clothing,
medical aid or lodging…read more

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Where there is a Contractual Duty to
Act
·Pittwood (1902)
·A Man working on a railway crossing left the
barrier up when the went to get his lunch. A man
on a horse and cart got hit by a train and died.
·He was found guilty of Gross Negligence
Manslaughter
·Mr Pittwood argued that his job was only to look
after the gate. But the court said that this meant
that he also had a duty to protect the public…read more

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Where in certain situations the law says
that an omission is an offence
1. Misconduct in a public office
· Dytham (1979) A police officer was eating a hot dog
outside a club when man got thrown out. He
continued to watch as the man got kicked to death. He
then took his hat off and announced that he was off
duty.
· He was found guilty of misconduct whilst acting as a
police officer.
2. A special relationship that gives a rise to duty
· Instan (1893) A niece who was living with her aunt
failed to care for her when she became ill. Her aunt
consequently died.…read more

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Where in certain situations the law
says that an omission is an offence
·Gibbons and Proctor (1918) A couple separated once
child from the family and starved her to death. They
then buried her in a brickyard and told everyone that
she had gone to live with her mother.
·They were found guilty of murder (by judge not
statute)
·Khan (1998) A fifteen year old girl was given heroin
by two drug dealers who watched her overdose.
·The judge misdirected the jury so the defendants
conviction was quashed but the judge said that it was
possible in the future that defendants could have a
duty in this type of situation…read more

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