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Involuntary Manslaughter

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by

Jennifer Mills

on 16 November 2015

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Transcript of Involuntary Manslaughter

INVOLUNTARY MANSLAUGHTER
D has no intention to kill but has acted in a way that means they should be held criminally liable.
INVOLUNTARY MANSLAUGHTER
NO INTENTION TO KILL
UNLAWFUL ACT MANSLAUGHTER
D must commit a crime to be liable for the death
Slingsby
– not unlawful as V consented.

No unlawful act so D not guilty of manslaughter.
Lamb
: when D fired the gun at his friend there was no assault as they were fooling around.

Ds act must be positive, an omission is not sufficient.
Lowe
– not guilty of manslaughter when baby died)
Khan & Khan
: Ds not liable for manslaughter when they failed to get help for V after she had injected herself with heroin they had provided

UNLAWFUL ACT MANSLAUGHTER
UNLAWFUL ACT MANSLAUGHTER
Checklist;
There are two types of involuntary manslaughter;
Unlawful Act Manslaughter
Gross Negligence Manslaughter
1. Unlawful act
2. Dangerous
3. Causes a death
1.UNLAWFUL ACT MUST BE;
UNLAWFUL ACT MANSLAUGHTER
2. Dangerous/unlawful - CASE LAW
Larkin
– D threatened a man with a
razor
– an
assault.
A woman, V, fell into it and her throat was slit, D was
guilty
of unlawful act manslaughter. Ds unlawful act did not need to be aimed at the person who died.
Mitchell
– D
punched
a man who fell into an old woman who fell over and died. It was
sufficient
Ds unlawful act was aimed at the man he punched, even though it was the old woman who died.
Goodfellow
–D committed
arson
to be re-housed and his wife, son and another woman were killed, this
was
unlawful act manslaughter. An act aimed at property is
sufficient
.
Newbury & Jones
– when Ds threw a large paving stone from a bridge onto the train causing
criminal damage
they were
guilty
of unlawful act manslaughter when the guard was killed.

QUESTION....Watch the following clip and try to decide;
1. what the unlawful act was,
2. whether it caused the death and,
3. was it dangerous?
UNLAWFUL ACT MANSLAUGHTER
2.DANGEROUS?
The unlawful act must be dangerous
Tested objectively (D does not need to realise the risk of harm) (
Larkin
)
The act does not need to be aimed at V (
Mitchell
)
The act can even be aimed at property (
Goodfellow
)
Harm includes shock but not simply emotional disturbance

QUESTION....
Do you think the following situations are dangerous...? You have one minute to answer.
Setting fire to a house with no one inside.
Waving a razor around but not intending to hurt anyone with it.
Throwing stones of a bridge.
UNLAWFUL ACT MANSLAUGHTER
Church
:
1. The sober and reasonable man recognises that it's dangerous,
2. Subjects another to the risk of some harm (does not have to be serious harm).

OBJECTIVE TEST
2.Dangerous?
DANGEROUS?
Objective Test
However, Ds act will only be dangerous if the
reasonable man would be aware
of the risk:

Watson -
V died of heart attack following a burglary at his house. V was a very old, frail man.
Dawson -
D robbed a petrol station with a replica gun. the cashier, a young man, had a heart attack and died.

Question....For the above case law decide whether you think the outcome was dangerous using the objective test.
1. Subjects another to risk of harm.
2. A reasonable man would realise it's dangerous.
UNLAWFUL ACT MANSLAUGHTER
3. Causing the death.
Factual causation: but for Ds unlawful act V would not have died (
White
)

Legal causation: andDs unlawful act contributes to the death in a more than minimal way (
Smith
)
An intervening act can break the chain mean D cannot be guilty
If D supplies V with drugs and also injects V with it, then the chain is not broken (
Cato
)
If D supplies V with drugs but V injects himself, then Vs act breaks the chain (
Dalby, Kennedy
)

MENS REA
UNLAWFUL ACT MANSLAUGHTER
D only needs the mens rea for the unlawful act
D does not need any mens rea for Vs death
D does not need to realise the act is unlawful or dangerous (
Newbury & Jones
)

GROSS NEGLIGENCE MANSLAUGHTER
QUESTION....Does the D in the following scenarios have the MR for UAM? Use the notes above on the MR for UAM. You have 3 minutes...
1. Kyle is mad with Tom and decides to threaten him. Tom is scared and backs off, falls over a bar stool, bangs his head and dies.

2. John the mechanic wants to make some extra cash so he steals a part of the break system on Jo's car. John doesn't realise that the part is necessary for the breaks. Jo later fails to stop his car and drives off a bridge and dies.
"D owes a duty of care and breaches it in a very negligent way, causing Vs death."

It can be committed by a positive act or an omission.
Does not have to be an illegal act.

GROSS NEGLIGENCE MANSLAUGHTER

Adomako - Leading Case

D, an anesthetist, failed to notice a disconnected tube supplying oxygen to V who later died. His failure to react quickly was described as abysmal. D was guilty of gross negligence manslaughter.


GROSS NEGLIGENCE MANSLAUGHTER
CHECKLIST;

1.Duty of Care
2.Breach of Duty
3. Caused Death
4. Grossly negligent
5. Risk of death.
QUESTION... Why is there a difference between negligence and gross negligence? Meaning that one is sued and the other D is criminally punished.
GROSS NEGLIGENCE MANSLAUGHTER
1.Duty of Care
Lord Mackay confirmed the principles from negligence in civil law apply here;

D must satisfy the neighbour principle from
Donoghue v Stevenson
(D owes a duty of care to anyone closely and directly affected by his act or omission).

2. Breach of Duty
GROSS NEGLIGENCE MANSLAUGHTER
The court considers what D was expected to do and whether he failed to do it or do it to a poor standard.
D is judged against the standard of the reasonable competent man doing the same activity as him.
If D is a trainee/learner, this is not taken into account.

NORMAL PRINCIPLES OF BREACH APPLY;
GROSS NEGLIGENCE MANSLAUGHTER
2.Breach of Duty Case Law
Singh:
D owed a duty of care to manage and maintain properties where a faulty gas fire caused deaths.

Litchfield
: D owed a duty of care to the crew on his ship which exploded due to fuel contamination.

Stone & Dobinson
: Ds owed a duty of care to feed and look after V who they volunteered to take care of.

Whacker:
D owed a duty of care to provide fresh air to illegal immigrants he brought into the country in a lorry.

Willoughby:
D owed a duty of care to V on his premises which V set fire to at Ds request

GROSS NEGLIGENCE MANSLAUGHTER
3.CAUSATION
Factual causation: but for Ds breach of duty, V would not have died (
White
)


Legal causation: Ds breach of duty contributed to Vs death in a more than minimal way (
Smith
)

GROSS NEGLIGENCE MANSLUAGHTER
4.GROSSLY NEGLIGENT
Ds negligence must be ‘gross’ – meaning
‘severe or serious’

Adomako
: jury consider whether Ds conduct departed from the proper standard of care expected from him, involving a risk of death, that it should be judged criminal.

Gross was such disregard for the life and safety of others as to amount to a crime against the state, deserving punishment. (
Bateman
)

A very high degree of negligence (
Andrews
)

GROSS NEGLIGENCE MANSLAUGHTER
5. Risk of Death
Ds conduct must involve a risk of death and not just a risk of injury (
Misra & Srivistava
)

Watson -
V died of heart attack following a burglary at his house. V was a very old, frail man. D was
guilty
as the reasonable man
would
be aware of the risk of harm to V.


Dawson -
V died of a heart attack when D committed robbery but D was
not guilty
because the reasonable man
would not
be aware of the risk of shock to V.
UNLAWFUL ACT MANSLAUGHTER
Answers...
Task....Go and find out the case facts for Cato, Dalby and Kennedy. You have ten minutes.
Task...watch the following clip and decide;
1. If there was a duty?
2. Why?
3. Was it breached and how?
Question...what does gross mean?
Task…watch the video clip and guess the ten case names that are being acted out. Some are involuntary manslaughter and some are non-fatal offences.
Full transcript