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Cases - manslaughter - unlawful and dangerous act

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Andrews v DPP (1937) HL

Arobieke, R v [1988] CA

Attorney-General's Reference (No.3 of 1994) [1997] HL

Attorney-General's Reference (No.4 of 1980) [1981] CA

Ball, R v (1989) CA

Bennett, R v (1858) Cockburn CJ

Bradshaw, R v (1878) Bramwell LJ

Cato, R v (1976) CA

Church, R v (1965)

Corbett, R v [1996] CA

Curley, R v (1909) CA

Dalby, R v [1982] CA

Dawson, R v (1985) CA

D, R v [2006] CA

Franklin, R v (1883) Field J

Goodfellow, R v (1986) CA

Hayward, R v (1908) Ridley J

Jennings, R v (1990)

Kennedy, R v [2007] HL

Lamb, R v [1967] CA

Lawrence, R v (1981) HL

Le Brun, R v [1991] CA

Lowe, R v [1973] CA

Mackie, R v (1973) CA

Mitchell, R v [1983] CA

Newbury and Jones, DPP v (1977) HL

Pagett, R v (1983) CA

Rogers, R v  [2003] CA

Ruby, R v (1988) CA

Sanderson, R v  (1994)

Scarlett, R v [1993] CA

Senior, R v (1899)

Slingsby, R v [1995] Judge J

Swindall & Osborne, R v (1846) Pollock CB

Towers, R v (1874) Denman J

Van Butchell, R v (1829) Hullock B

Watson, R v [1989] CA

Williams & Davis, R v [1992] CA

Woods, R v (1921) Avory J

Andrews v DPP (1937) HL

 

[Manslaughter - unlawful act - offence causing death must be an unlawful act]
D had been dispatched by his employer to assist a disabled vehicle. D killed a pedestrian whilst attempting to pass another car by driving well over on the offside of the road.

Held:
Lord Atkin:

  1. 'There is an obvious difference in the law of manslaughter between doing an unlawful act and doing a lawful act with a degree of carelessness which the legislature makes criminal. If it were otherwise a man who killed another while driving without due care and attention would ex necessitate commit manslaughter.'

  2. '[A] very high degree of negligence is required to be proved before the felony is established.'

Guilty of manslaughter by gross negligence, not by an unlawful act.

Arobieke, R v [1988] CA

 

 

 

Appeal here

 

[Manslaughter - unlawful act - act must be criminal, tort is not enough]
D went to a railway station looking for V there had been animosity between the two of them.  There was evidence that V feared serious violence if D found him.  V left his train and was electrocuted trying to cross the tracks.  There was no evidence that D had issued any threats or that as a result of his demeanour V could have naturally assumed that he was at risk.

 

Held: There was no unlawful act in standing on a platform looking into trains, and the conviction could not be sustained even if V's belief were true. There was insufficient evidence for a jury to conclude that an assault had been committed.

 

Not Guilty

Also here

Comment: Akinwale Arobieke had a long criminal history of indecent assaults on other males threats to kill and harassment. A court ban on "touching muscles" of men was lifted in 2007.  He is associated with an urban legend of "Purple Aki", a bogeyman figure in the Liverpool area.

Attorney-General's Reference (No.3 of 1994) [1997] HL

 

[Manslaughter - unlawful act - the act must be objectively dangerous, risking some harm, albeit not serious harm]
D stabbed his pregnant girlfriend V in the abdomen; she gave birth prematurely, and the baby B died some four months later as a result of its immaturity.

Held: If D intentionally committed an unlawful and objectively dangerous act that caused the death of a living human being, there was no reason why he should not be convicted of "unlawful act" manslaughter. His act clearly carried a risk of some injury to V, even if not necessarily to B, and that (with the other elements) was enough to constitute manslaughter even though it was B rather than V who ultimately died.

Attorney-General's Reference (No.4 of 1980) [1981] CA

 

[Manslaughter - unlawful act - causation - act must cause the death]
D, in the course of a struggle pushed his girlfriend  head first over the landing rail so that she landed on her head on the floor below.  Believing her to be dead he then dragged her upstairs by a rope around her neck.  Finally he cut her throat with a knife before cutting up the body in a bath and then disposing of it.

Held: Where D has committed a series of acts, each unlawful and dangerous or grossly negligent, as a result of which a person dies, then he can properly be convicted of manslaughter even though it cannot be shown which particular act was the actual cause of death.

Ball, R v (1989) CA

 

[Manslaughter - unlawful act - the act must be objectively dangerous, risking some harm, albeit not serious harm]
D loaded a gun with two cartridges taken from his pocket containing both live and blank cartridges. D claimed to intend only to frighten V by using a blank cartridge, but the gun fired and killed V.

Held: The reasonable man cannot be endowed with D's mistaken belief.

Stuart-Smith LJ:

'[Once it is] established ... that the act was both unlawful and that he intended to commit the assaults, the question whether the act is a dangerous one is to be judged not by the appellant's appreciation but by that of the sober and reasonable man, and it is impossible to impute into this appreciation the mistaken belief of [D] that what he was doing was not dangerous because he thought he had a blank cartridge in the chamber. At that stage [D's] intention, foresight or knowledge is irrelevant.'

Guilty of unlawful act manslaughter

Bennett, R v (1858) Cockburn CJ

 

[Manslaughter - unlawful act - causation - act must cause the death]
D made fireworks contrary to statute and stored explosives for this purpose. A fire broke out accidentally or by the negligence of others, and a rocket set fire to an adjacent house, killing its occupant.

Held; the unlawful act - the keeping of the fireworks - did not in itself cause the death,

Not guilty

Bradshaw, R v (1878) Bramwell LJ

 

[Manslaughter - unlawful act can be negated by consent]
A footballer V died as a result of a hard tackle, and his opponent D was charged with manslaughter. The umpires gave evidence that the tackle had been a fair one and the jury acquitted on the facts, though the judge said even play within the rules of the game could be unlawful if D intended or was reckless as to the risk of serious injury.  

Cato, R v (1976) CA

 

[Manslaughter - unlawful act must cause the death of another - There must have been an intentional act - an omission will not do - need not  be intention to cause harm]
D injected V with heroin several times throughout an evening, at V's request. The intoxication caused V's respiratory failure.

Held

  1. Although administering heroin is not an offence known to law, the unlawful act causing death was either possession of heroin or administering a noxious substance. 

  2. 'As a matter of law, it was sufficient if [the heroin injection] was a cause, provided that it was a cause outside the de minimis range, and effectively bearing upon the acceleration of the moment of the victim's death.'

Guilty of unlawful act manslaughter.

Church, R v (1965)

[Manslaughter  - unlawful act must be objectively dangerous]
D took V to a van for sexual purposes. V mocked D and slapped him D knocked V unconscious. Unable to revive her he panicked and threw her into a river. V drowned.

Held: D's conduct amounted to a series of acts, which culminated in her death and thus constituted manslaughter.

Edmund Davies:

'an unlawful act causing the death of another cannot, simply because it is an unlawful act, render a manslaughter verdict inevitable. For such a verdict inexorably to follow, the unlawful act must be such as all sober and reasonable people would inevitably recognise must subject the other person to, at least, the risk of some harm resulting therefrom, albeit not serious harm.'

”A grosser case of criminal negligence it would be difficult to imagine.”
 

Guilty of manslaughter.

Corbett, R v [1996] CA

 

[Manslaughter - unlawful act - causation - act must cause the death]
 D following an argument head-butted V, causing V to fall into the gutter where he was struck and killed by a passing car.

Held; this was a foreseeable result of D's assault. The assault could thus be regarded as a cause of the death.

 

Guilty

Curley, R v (1909) CA

 

[Manslaughter - unlawful act - causation - act must cause the death]
D's wife W fell or was pushed from a window during an argument, and died.

At D's trial Phillimore J told the jury that if from a well-founded fear of violence W went to the window to call for help and overbalanced herself it would be a case of manslaughter, and the jury convicted.

Held; this part of the judge's direction was upheld.

Dalby, R v [1982] CA



 

[Manslaughter - unlawful act - must cause the death of another - act must be objectively dangerous, risking some harm, albeit not serious harm]
D supplied Diconal tablets, a controlled drug, to V, who then injected himself intravenously with the drug and later died.

Held:
Walter LJ:

'the act of supplying a scheduled drug was not an act which caused direct harm.' In order to establish criminal liability, 'where the charge of manslaughter is based on an unlawful and dangerous act, it must be directed at the victim and likely to cause immediate injury, however slight'.

Not guilty of unlawful act manslaughter.

Comment: This case must now be considered in the light of the clear judgment in Kennedy.

Dawson, R v (1985) CA

 

 

[Manslaughter - unlawful act - must be objectively dangerous]
D and E robbed V's petrol station wearing masks and armed with a pickaxe handle and replica firearm. When V pushed the alarm, they fled. Soon after, V, who had a severe heart condition, died from a heart attack.

Held:
Watkins LJ: Since the test in this case

'can only be undertaken upon the basis of the knowledge gained by a sober and reasonable man as though he were present at the scene of and watched the unlawful act being performed',

the jury ought not to have taken into account V's heart condition and therefore the increased chance that D's actions would induce a heart attack.

Not guilty of unlawful act manslaughter.

D, R v [2006] CA

 

Whole case here

^[Manslaughter – suicide induced by physical or mental harm]
D abused his wife who eventually committed suicide by hanging herself. The judge at the Old Bailey dismissed the charges and ruled that psychological harm cannot, as the law currently stands, amount to bodily harm.. The prosecution appealed.

Held: The CofA rejected the appeal but held that if D harms a partner and causes them physical and mental harm and subsequently drives them to suicide, then D can be guilty of manslaughter.

Not guilty

Comment: The prosecution used their new right to appeal Judge’s decisions under Section 58 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 which came into force in April 2005. It is believed that this was one of the first appeals of its type. There is no jurisprudence anywhere in the world that has a precedent on this principle
 

Franklin, R v (1883) Field J

 

 

[Manslaughter - unlawful act - death must be caused an unlawful act, tort is not enough]
D took a box from another man's stall on a pier and threw it into the sea. The box struck and killed V, who was swimming.

Held: A civil wrong is immaterial to a charge of manslaughter (rejecting Fenton (1830)).

'the mere fact of a civil wrong committed by one person against another ought not to be used as an incident which is a necessary step in a criminal case.'

Not guilty

Goodfellow, R v (1986) CA

 

 

[Manslaughter - unlawful act - novus actus interveniens - unlawful act must cause the death of another]
D wished to move from his council house but could not, so he set fire to it as part of a scam. His wife, son and another woman died.

Held: Lord Lane CJ:

'What [Walter LJ in Dalby] was, we believe, intending to say was that there must be no fresh intervening cause between the act and the death.'

D would be liable for reckless manslaughter if D either was inadvertent as to the risk of injury to others entailed in setting fire to the house in circumstances where

'it would have been obvious that there was some risk', or was aware of the risk but adverted to it nonetheless. '[I]n the circumstances of this case if there was risk of injury at all to the people upstairs then it must follow that there was a risk of death.'

Guilty of manslaughter by either unlawful act or recklessness.

Hayward, R v (1908) Ridley J

 

[Manslaughter - unlawful act - causation - act must cause the death]
D threatened his wife with violence and chased her out of the house, where she died from an unsuspected medical condition aggravated by violent exercise and fright.

Held: Departing from Towers the judge told the jury that death from fright alone, caused by an illegal act such as a threat of violence, was enough to sustain a charge of manslaughter.

Guilty

Jennings, R v (1990)

[Manslaughter - unlawful act - must be objectively dangerous]
D was restrained by his brother V from attacking E with a sheath knife, which ended up entering V's body and killing him.

Held:  It was not established at trial that carrying a sheath knife for protection was an unlawful act - a necessary prerequisite for this offence.

Not guilty of unlawful act manslaughter.

Kennedy, R v [2007] HL

 

 

Whole case here

 

 

^[Manslaughter - unlawful act - unlawful act must be a crime - injecting is a new 'chain of causation']
A man V asked D to supply him with heroin, both lived in a hostel; D filled a syringe and gave it to V, who injected himself, he died by inhalation of gastric contents while acutely intoxicated by opiates and alcohol.

Held: Where the deceased was a fully informed and responsible adult, it was never appropriate to find guilty of manslaughter a person who had been involved in the supply to the deceased of a Class A controlled drug, which had then been freely and voluntarily self-administered by the deceased, and the administration of the drug had caused his death.

Not Guilty

Comment: The ratio in this case does not apply to gross negligence manslaughter.

Environment Agency v Empress Car Co (Abertillery) Ltd [1998], R v Cato [1976], R v Dias [2001] considered.

R v Rogers [2003], R v Finlay [2003] disapproved.

Lamb, R v [1967] CA

 

[Manslaughter - unlawful act required]
D and a friend V were playing with a revolver. In the chamber there were two bullets, but neither was opposite the hammer when D, in jest, pointed the gun at V and pulled the trigger. The chamber rotated and V was killed.

Held: since V shared in the joke and did not feel threatened (since both believed the gun to be safe) there was no assault and hence no unlawful act to support D's conviction for manslaughter.

  1. It is long settled that it is not in point to consider whether an act is unlawful merely from the angle of civil liabilities.

  2. For the act to be unlawful it must constitute at least a technical assault, which was not established by the evidence.

  3. Regarding criminal negligence, D might properly be convicted if his belief that there was no danger in pulling the trigger was formed in a criminally negligent way.

Not guilty

Lawrence, R v (1981) HL

 

[Manslaughter by gross negligence subsumes reckless manslaughter]
D was driving a motorcycle along an urban street and collided with a pedestrian, causing her death.

Held: Lord Diplock: manslaughter by recklessness is established first, where D is 

'driving the vehicle in such a manner as to create an obvious and serious risk of causing physical injury to some other person who might happen to be using the road or of doing substantial damage to property'; and second, where D 'did so without having given any thought to the possibility of there being any such risk, or, having recognised that there was some risk involved, had nonetheless gone on to take it'.

D was not guilty of manslaughter.

Le Brun, R v [1991] CA

 

[Manslaughter - unlawful act - there must have been an intentional act - an omission will not do - need not  be intention to cause harm]
D hit his wife on the chin (without meaning any serious harm) in an argument outside their house; when she fell unconscious he dragged her away to avoid detection and in so doing caused her head to hit the pavement sufficiently hard to fracture her skull, as a result of which she died.

Held: Although the intentional unlawful act was not the direct cause of death, that act and the act causing death were part of "the same sequence of events", and that was sufficient.

Guilty

Lowe, R v [1973] CA

 

[Manslaughter - unlawful act - by omission -  there must have been an intentional act - an omission will not do - need not  be intention to cause harm]
D, of low intelligence, failed to call a doctor when his nine-week-old child became ill, but claimed to have told his wife to do so, she did not do so and the child died 10 days later.

Held: Phillimore LJ:

'there is a clear distinction between an act of omission and an act of commission likely to cause harm. [I]f I strike a child in a manner likely to cause harm it is right that if the child dies I may be charged with manslaughter. If, however, I omit to do something with the result that it suffers injury to health which results in death ... a charge of manslaughter should not be an inevitable consequence, even if the omission is deliberate'.

Guilty of neglect, not guilty of unlawful act manslaughter.

Mackie, R v (1973) CA

 

[Manslaughter - unlawful act - causation - act must cause the death]
D threatened his three-year-old stepson with a severe thrashing for some minor misbehaviour. The boy tried to run away but fell downstairs, dislocated his neck, and died.

Held: The judge had put four questions to the jury:

  1. Was the boy in fear of D?

  2. Did that fear cause him to try to escape?

  3. Was that fear well-founded?

  4. Was it caused by D's unlawful conduct, allowing for the fact that

D was in loco parentis and could lawfully administer reasonable punishment? These were the right questions, and the jury had evidently answered each of them affirmatively.

 

Guilty

Mitchell, R v [1983] CA

 

 

[Manslaughter - unlawful act - must be objectively dangerous, risking some harm, albeit not serious harm]
D tried to jump the queue in a busy post office. Another man S objected and D hit S, causing him to fall against several other people including an elderly woman V. V suffered a broken femur, and died in hospital a few days later.

Held: The doctrine of transferred malice was enough that an act directed only against S could still be the unlawful act making D liable for the death of V.

Guilty

Newbury and Jones, DPP v (1977) HL

 

[Manslaughter - unlawful act - offence causing death must be an unlawful act - must be objectively dangerous - judged by sober and reasonable person]
N. and J two teenage boys pushed a paving stone off a railway bridge on to the train below, causing the death of a guard.

Held:
Lord Salmon: the test for liability is

'an objective test. In judging whether the act was dangerous, the test is not did the accused recognise that it was dangerous but would all sober and reasonable people recognise its danger ...'.


Both guilty of unlawful act manslaughter.
Note Pushing a stone off a bridge is an unlawful act, but at no point was the unlawful act specified.

Pagett, R v (1983) CA

 

^[Manslaughter - unlawful act - causation - act must cause the death]
D armed with a shotgun and cartridges, shot at police who were attempting to arrest him. D held a 16-year-old girl who was pregnant by him as a shield.

The officers returned fire and the girl was killed.

 

The jury acquitted him of murder and convicted him of manslaughter.

Held: His unlawful and dangerous act (directed against the police) was the cause of G's death, and that was sufficient. [The police were subsequently found to have been negligent, and had to pay civil compensation to G's family]


(1) It was for the jury - properly directed - to decide whether or not the relevant causal link has been established;

(2) The accused's act need not be the sole cause, or even the main cause, of the victim's death, it being enough that the act contributed significantly to that result.

(3) Although an act of an accused may constitute a causa sine qua non (but for test) of the death of the victim, nevertheless the intervention of a third person may be regarded as the sole cause of the victim's death (or novus actus interveniens) thereby relieving the accused of criminal liability.

(4) A reasonable act of self-preservation, or self-defence, is not a novus actus interveniens; nor is an act done in the execution of legal duty.

(5) In the present case, the jury must have found that the appellant had used the girl victim by force and against her will as a shield to protect him from any shots fired by the police. The effect was that he committed not one but two unlawful acts, both of which were dangerous - the act of firing at the police, and the act of holding the girl as a shield in front of him when the police might well fire shots in his direction in self-defence. Either act could, if on the above principles it resulted in the death of the girl, constitute the actus reus of manslaughter.

 

Guilty of unlawful act manslaughter
Pitts (1842) and Curley (1909) Considered

Also here and here

Rogers, R v  [2003] CA

 

 

[Manslaughter - unlawful act - causation - act must cause the death]
D applied and held a tourniquet (a belt) on the arm of a V while he injected himself with heroin.

 

Held: The application of the tourniquet was "part and parcel of the unlawful act of administering heroin" and D was playing a part in the mechanics of the injection which caused death, therefore, there was an unlawful act.  It was immaterial whether the deceased was committing a criminal offence.

 

R v Cato [1976] established that the injection of others was a criminal offence and that active participation in injuring others should not, as a matter of public policy, be condoned.

 

Dias was correct and it was artificial and unreal to separate the tourniquet from the injection. The purpose and effect of the tourniquet, plainly, was to raise a vein in which the deceased could insert the syringe.


R v Dias [2002] was applied

This case disapproved in R v Kennedy [1999] HL.

 

Guilty

Ruby, R v (1988) CA

 

[Manslaughter - unlawful act - causation - act must cause the death]
D knocked V down with a single blow of his fist and gave a half-hearted kick to his head; V had a very thin skull and died from the kick this occurred outside a night club.

Held: A rare literal application of the "eggshell skull" rule - but the Court of Appeal took into account that a normal person would not have died in such a situation and reduced D's sentence from five to three years' imprisonment.

 

Guilty

Sanderson, R v  (1994)

[Manslaughter - unlawful act - diminished responsibility - abnormality of the mind impairing mental responsibility]
D had a violent argument with his girlfriend, whom he killed by hitting her 100 times with a wooden object. Medical evidence established that D suffered from a paranoid psychosis, arising from inherent causes: namely, his upbringing.

Held:  A permissible cause of an abnormality of the mind includes 'any inherent cause', which covers functional mental illness as well as organic or physical injury or disease of the body, including the brain.

Guilty of manslaughter by diminished responsibility.

Scarlett, R v [1993] CA

 

 

[Manslaughter - unlawful act - predicate offence causing death must be an unlawful act - tort is not enough]
D, a publican, 'bundled' a drunken customer towards the exit of the pub, causing him to fall backwards down some steps to this death.

Held: The objective test of a dangerous act is independent of the possibly subjective test of unlawfulness; if in these circumstances D used no more force than was necessary in the circumstances as he honestly believed them to be

The question whether the appellant's action amounted to an assault and was unlawful and the question whether it was dangerous should have been considered separately by the jury.

Beldam LJ: the jury ought not convict D

'unless they are satisfied that the degree of force used was plainly more than was called for by the circumstances as he believed them to be, and, provided he believed the circumstances called for the degree of force used, he is not to be convicted even if his belief is unreasonable'.

Per curiam: the present law relating to unlawful act manslaughter is in urgent need of reform.

Not guilty of unlawful act manslaughter

See Owino for preferred decision

Senior, R v (1899)

[Manslaughter - unlawful act - by omission - Distinction between unlawful commission and omission]
D belonged to a religious sect and refused to seek medical assistance for his ill child, who then died.

Held: Wilful neglect of the child was the unlawful act causing death.
Lord Russell CJ:

"'Wilfully" is defined as "deliberately and intentionally, not by accident or inadvertence ... " and "neglect" as "the want of reasonable care - that is, the omission of such steps as a reasonable parent would take, such as are usually taken in the ordinary experience of mankind ...".'

Guilty of unlawful act manslaughter.

Slingsby, R v [1995] Judge J

 

 

[Manslaughter - unlawful act - can be negated by consent]
D had sexual intercourse with V, with her consent. Also with V's consent, he inserted his fist into her vagina, but his signet ring caused her internal injuries, which neither of them realised at the time but from which from which V eventually died.

Held: V had consented to D's doing what he did, and there was no evidence that either of them had contemplated actual bodily harm resulting, so there was no unlawful act on which to found a prosecution.

 

Not guilty

Swindall & Osborne, R v (1846) Pollock CB

 

[Manslaughter - unlawful act - causation - act must cause the death]
DD were racing their horses and carts along a public road when they ran over and killed an old man V. At their trial for manslaughter they claimed V had been deaf or drunk or negligent in not getting out of their way, but the judge directed the jury that this was irrelevant and made no difference to DD's guilt or innocence.

 

Towers, R v (1874) Denman J

[Manslaughter - unlawful act - causation - act must cause the death]
A man D violently assaulted a girl who was holding a 4½-month baby in her arms; the baby was so frightened by the girl's screams that it went into convulsions, and died a month later.

Held; The judge said there was sufficient evidence to put the manslaughter charge to the jury: mere intimidation directed to an adult, causing him to die of fright, would not be murder, but the rule did not apply to a child of tender years.

 

Van Butchell, R v (1829) Hullock B

 

[Manslaughter - unlawful act - causation - act must cause the death]
D was an unlicensed surgeon whose patient died; the judge said the statutory penalty for practising medicine without a licence was irrelevant to a charge of manslaughter so long as D had taken reasonable care. The unlawfulness lay in the fact that D had no licence, but this was not the cause of death.

 

Watson, R v [1989] CA

 

[Manslaughter - unlawful act - must be objectively dangerous]
D and E threw a brick through the window of V's house and entered it, confronting V, who was 87 years old and suffering from a severe heart condition. After verbally abusing V, they left and she died 90 minutes later of a heart attack.

Held: The trial judge correctly told the jury that in deciding whether the act was dangerous they should take the point of view of a reasonable bystander with the knowledge available to DD; there was no evidence that DD knew the victim's age or state of health when they first broke in, but it must have become obvious to them once they saw him. Lord Lane CJ: the reasonable person in this case would be apprised of

'the whole of the burglarious intrusion', including the observation that V was very elderly and frail.

 

Not guilty of manslaughter [on other grounds (causation)].

Williams & Davis, R v [1992] CA

 

^[Manslaughter - unlawful act - causation - act must cause the death]
DD picked up a hitchhiker V and allegedly tried to rob him. V jumped from the car at about 30 mph, and suffered head injuries from which he died.

Held: The nature of the supposed threat was important in deciding both the foreseeability of some harm (not necessarily serious) to the victim from the threat itself, and the proportionality of his response.

If V's response fell outside the range of responses which might be expected from a victim in his situation, allowing for any particular characteristic and for the fact that in the agony of the moment he might act without proper thought, then it would break the chain of causation.

 

Not guilty

Woods, R v (1921) Avory J

 

[Manslaughter - unlawful act - causation - act must cause the death]
D had been left in charge of his younger brothers and sisters while their father was away at war, but the father had recently returned. One day D struck his younger brother B for being cheeky; B got up and walked out of the room, but soon afterwards collapsed and died because of a very rare and unsuspected thymus condition making him highly susceptible to any sudden shock.

Held: The judge directed the jury that he would be guilty if D had struck an unlawful blow, even though it would have caused no serious harm to any healthy person.

The jury acquitted

 

 

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