The unlawful killing of a human being under the Queen's Peace with malice aforethought.
- 'Unlawful killing' - the defendant must have caused the death and it must be unlawful.
- 'Human being' - when a person can exist independently from it's mother. A foetus is not a human being.
- Intention to kill or cause grevous bodily harm (R v Cunningham)
- Direct intent - the defendant wants the victim to die.
- Oblique intent - where death or GBH is a virtual certainty of the defendant's actions (R v Woollin)
Unlawful Act Manslaughter
- There must be an unlawful act - has to be an act not an omission (R v Lowe)
- Has to be criminal not civil (R v Franklin)
- The unlawful act must be dangerous - whether a reasonable person would foresee that the act would cause harm (R v Church)
- R v Dawson - victim was 60 with a heart condition. The sober and reasonable person wouldn't know this so it wouldn't be dangerous.
- The dangerous unlawful act must be the cause of the death
- R v Johnstone - victim was subject to a series of taunts which led to stress which caused a heart attack. Defendant's couldn't be convicted as it wasn't clear whether they caused the heart attack.
- R v Cato - question of whether those supplying drugs can be liablep
The means rea for this offence is the mens rea of the unlawful act
Gross Negligence Manslaughter
Duty of care
- A duty of care is established under the 'neighbourhood principle' constained in Donoghue v Stevenson
- A few exceptions arose in R v Willoughby where it was held that there will almost always be a duty of care between a doctor and their patient
Gross negligent breach of that duty
Risk of death
Non Fatal Offences Against the Person
- Contained in s.39 Criminal Justice Act 1988
- 'The defendant must intentionally or recklessly cause the victim to apprehend immediate unlawful personal violence'
- The defendant must cause the victim to fear violence. This can be done by words, actions or both - even silence (R v Ireland)