Definition: the killing of a human being, within the queens peace, with malice aforethought. - said by Lord Coke
Factual causation :
- There must be an act or culpable omission by D
- the 'but for' test - R v White 
- facts of R v White - D placed poison in mothers drink - she drank it but had a heart attack and died before it took effect - factual causation not established
Legal causation :
- Did Ds act accelerate Vs death to an extent more than merely negligible?
- Was Ds act more than a de minimus cause? It doesn't have to be significant
- Was Ds act one of a number of causes of death or the only one?
- Reasonable foresight test - was Vs death a reasonably foreseeable consequence of Ds act?
- Novus Actus Interveniens -
- it must be a positive supervening voluntary act by the victim - R v Simon Kennedy 
- The act must be so independant of Ds act to be NAI
- Drug dealers- wont be guilty if the drug was freely and voluntarily self administered by the person to whom it was supplied, and the administration of the drug caused the death, in the case of a fully informed and responsible adult
- ^ because criminal law assumes existence of free will
- Escape case - the victims…