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 - …