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  • Created by: Nadya
  • Created on: 02-03-13 14:07

 D - defendant; V - victim.


It must be proven that D caused V's injuries/death.

Where a consequence has to be proven, prosecution must show that:

  • D's conduct was the factual cause of that consequence, and
  • D's conduct was the legal cause of consequence, and 
  • There was no intervening act (NOVUS ACTUS), which broke the chain of causation.

Factual cause - USE "but for" test - Pagett.

D can only be guilty if the consequence would not have happened "but for" D's conduct. PAGETT (1983) - D used his pregnant girlfriend as a human shield against police fire - she dies. D guilty of MANSLAUGHTER. 

Legal cause - USE "substantive and operative cause" test - Smith. 

D can be guilty if his conduct was a "substantive and operative cause" of V's death/injury. SMITH (1959) - 2 soldiers had a fight - one was stabbed in the lung - on the way to the medical centre he was dropped - at the medical centre he was given artificial respiration by pressing down on his chest - he died. (proper treatment - 75% recovery)D was guilty of MURDER. 

Thin-skull rule - 


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