• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Chain of causation problem question. The given case is concerned with the law on homicide in English Criminal Law. Albert is likely to be accused of three different offences; the death of Bert amounting to involuntary manslaughter, the injuries suffered

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Albert is a drug-dealer. One evening, selling heroin up a dark alley, he is first approached by Bert, with whom he has dealt several times in the past. Albert sells him the drug. Bert goes home, injects himself, and dies that same evening from an overdose. Next Albert is approached by Carol, whom he has never met before, but correctly supposes to be already heavily addicted. She is so desperate for the heroin that, at her request, he holds her arm steady while she injects herself there and then with the heroin he has supplied. Carol has a seizure and hits her head against a wall, resulting in severe bruising, but no lasting injury. Finally, Albert is approached by Diane, whom he knows well, and, at her suggestion they both go to her flat. There Diane injects herself with the heroin that Albert supplies. She passes out and Albert carries her to her bed, lying down beside her. When he awakes next morning Diane is looking very pale and is not conscious. Albert decides just to leave her there. Diane dies that afternoon from the heroin injection, never having recovered consciousness. The medical evidence is that her life would very likely have been saved had she received medical attention earlier in the day. ...read more.

Middle

On the surface it appears that the actus reus is satisfied in the given case (T v DPP10). However, in trying to establish actus reus we need to look at causation and take into consideration the ruling in the case of Kennedy (No.2)11. When the Kennedy case reached the House of Lords the question of joint responsibility was brought up. The House of Lords ruled that the drug had been self administered, not jointly administered and therefore this doctrine was inapplicable. The House of Lords said "In the case of a fully informed and responsible adult, never". The mens rea for such an offence is intention to cause actual bodily harm or to do so recklessly (applying the Cunningham test).While it can clearly be said that Albert did not possess intention it can be argued that he was reckless in providing the drugs - he should have foreseen the risk. The lack of actus reus would prevent him from being prosecuted under s47 OAPA 1861. The courts might then consider the lesser offence of battery. In the offence of battery the mens rea is similar to that of s47 OAPA 1861, but the threshold for actus reud is lower, mere infliction of violence is adequate. ...read more.

Conclusion

Therefore, it can be argued that there is a general consensus that drug dealers should be punished for their crimes while maintaining a balance between retribution, deterrent and incentive to seek medical help when mishaps occur. 1 Lord Mustill, Attorney General's Reference (No 3 of 1994). 2 R v Franklin (1883) 15 Cox CC 163. 3 R v Lowe [1977] AC 500. 4 R v Andrews [1937] AC 576 5 [1966] 1QB 59, 70 6 R v Mitchell [1983] Q.B. 741 7 R v Dalby [1982] 1 All ER 916 (CA) 8 Crown Prosecution Service. Offences against the Person, Incorporating the Charging Standard. October 16, 2009. http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/l_to_o/offences_against_the_person/#P189_14382 (accessed November 30, 2009). 9 R v Donovan 25 Cr. App. Rep. 1, CCA 10 T v Director of Public Prosecutions, [2003] Crim. L. R. 622 11R. v Kennedy (Simon) [2007] UKHL 38 12 R v Khan & Khan (1998) CLR 830 13 Sinclair, Johnson and Smith (1998) 148 N.L.J. 1353 CA (Crim Div) 14 R v Bateman (1925) 19 Cr App R 8, 11 15 R v Adamako [1995] 1 AC 171, 187 16 Elliott, Catherine, and Claire de Than. "Prosecuting the Drug Delaer When a Drug User Dies: R v Kennedy (No. 2)." The Modern Law Review, 2006: 987-995. ?? ?? ?? ?? John Mathew ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Criminal law section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

4 star(s)

Good identification of the issues. The student could structure the material more clearly, however.

4 Stars.

Marked by teacher Edward Smith 07/08/2013

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree Criminal law essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    "There is no statutory definition of intention in English law. Indeed, over the past ...

    5 star(s)

    There is a security guard within a metre of the safe door who he is aware of yet proceeds with the act and consequently the security guard is killed by the explosives. Initially, with regards to oblique intention an objective test was applied as in DPP v Smith11.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Offender Profiling...............USA or UK?

    5 star(s)

    As a result of the data the FBI created Crime Scene Analysis (CSA), which involves six steps that collectively make up their profiling process (Dessler, 1988). 'Profiling input' is the first of these steps and involves the collection and assessment of all materials relating to the specific case.

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Criminal Law Omissions. In the English legal system there is generally no liability ...

    4 star(s)

    Another situation where there is a special relationship is between doctors and patients, doctors must provide adequate care. In Airedale NHS trust v Bland6 , the case involved a doctor-patient special relationship where a victim from the Hillsborough disaster had irreversible brain damage and could only live artificially with the

  2. Marked by a teacher

    "All inchoate offences should be abolished on the theory that society is not harmed ...

    3 star(s)

    proceedings, so this is a problem for offenders who organise the event and get others to carry out.

  1. Explain the role and functions of both the magistrate's court and the Crown Court.

    However the Criminal Justice Act 1967 allows a judge to accept a majority verdict of at least 10:2. But it advises that the principle of unanimity must be upheld at all times and instructs the judge not to accept a majority verdict unless the jury have debated the case for at least two hours.

  2. What was the impact of the decision of R v G and R?

    Therefore conveying Lord Diplock's decision in the Caldwell case was incorrect. Furthermore 'Lord Diplock's' decision in the Caldwell case has been criticised by many academics who have described the decision to be "Pathetically inadequate, slap happy and profoundly regrettable"11. Therefore the decision in the House of Lords in RvG illustrated these criticisms by rejecting the Caldwell recklessness approach.

  1. Should victims have a say in sentencing?

    In doing this, the courts have recognised both the importance of ensuring that a victim has some form of role in the trial process while at the same time balancing this against allowing such statements to become a form of vengeance.

  2. problem question on murder

    It is restated in the Draft5 under 'Supervening Fault'. Furthermore, prosecution will determine the question that -was there a break in the chain of causation, any intervening act? The prosecution must look at Dr Dan's act, that he was so busy to monitor the condition of Ali for six hours.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work