Source: All England Reporter
Publisher Citation: [2002] All ER (D) 519 (Jul)
Neutral Citation: [2002] EWCA Crim 1944
Court: Court of Appeal, Criminal Division

Kay LJ, Colman and Ouseley JJ

Representation Michael Lawson QC and Simon Russell Flint (instructed by Kirk Jackson Waitt) for the defendant.
  Victor Temple QC and Duncan Penny (instructed by HM Customs and Excise) for the Crown.
  Orlando Pownall QC (instructed by the Treasury Solicitor) for the Attorney General.
Judgment Dates: 31 July 2002


Criminal law - Manslaughter - Involuntary manslaughter - Breach of duty - Accused and deceased having engaged in joint criminal activity - Whether accused owing duty of care to deceased in circumstances - Whether judge having erred in failing to withdraw case from jury.

The Case

As a matter of public policy there was no justification for concluding that the criminal law should decline to hold a person as criminally responsible for the death of another simply because the two were engaged in some joint unlawful activity at the time or because there might have been an element of acceptance of a degree of risk by the victim in order to further the joint unlawful enterprise. Whether a duty of care arose in any particular case was to be judged by the same legal criteria as governed whether there was a duty of care in the law of negligence.

Practice Areas

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