Flashcards in Culpable Homicide Deck (10):
Homicide is the killing of a human being by another, directly or indirectly, by any means whatsoever.
Homicide must be culpable to be an offence
Murray Wright Ltd
Culpability of Organisations
Because the killing must be done by a human being, an organisation (such as a hospital or food company) cannot be convicted as a principal offender
However, in cases of:
• Manslaughter; an organisation can be convicted as a party to the offence (section 66(1))
• Murder, an organisation cannot be convicted as either a principal offender or a party to the offence. This is because the offence carries a mandatory life sentence.
Killing of a child
When a child becomes a human being
(1) A child becomes a human being within the meaning of this Act when it has completely proceeded in a living state from the body of its mother,
whether it has breathed or not, whether it has an independent circulation or not, and whether the navel string is severed or not.
(2) The killing of such child is homicide if it dies in consequence of injuries received before, during, or after birth.
(1) homicide may be either culpable or not culpable.
(2) Homicide is culpable when it consists in the killing of any person—
(a) By an unlawful act; or
(b) By an omission without lawful excuse to perform or observe any legal duty; or
(c) By both combined; or
(d) By causing that person by threats or fear of violence, or by deception, to do an act which causes his death; or
(e) By wilfully frightening a child under the age of 16 years or a sick person.
(3) Except as provided in section 178 of this Act, culpable homicide is either murder or manslaughter.
(4) Homicide that is not culpable is not an offence.
R v Myatt
Before a breach of any Act, regulation or bylaw would be an unlawful act under s 160 for the purposes of culpable homicide,
it must be an act likely to do harm to the deceased or to some class of persons of whom he was one.
R v Tomars
Culpable Homicide - by threats, fear of violence or deception
R v Tomars formulates the issues in the following way:
1. Was the deceased threatened by, in fear of or deceived by the defendant?
2. If they were, did such threats, fear or deception cause the deceased to do the act that caused their death?
3. Was the act a natural consequence of the actions of the defendant, in the sense that reasonable and responsible people in the defendant’s position at the time could reasonably have foreseen the consequences?
4. Did these foreseeable actions of the victim contribute in a [significant] way to his death?
Killing by Influence on the Mind
No one is.....
No one is criminally responsible for the killing of another by any influence on the mind alone, except by wilfully frightening a child under the age of 16 years or a sick person,
nor for the killing of another by any disorder or disease arising from such influence, except by wilfully frightening any such child as aforesaid or a sick person.
Consent to Death
No one has....
No one has the right to consent to being killed (s63). This means that, if someone is killed, the fact they gave their consent will not affect the criminal responsibility of anyone else involved with the killing.
R v Horry
Where body is not located
Death should be provable by such circumstances as render it morally certain and leave no ground for reasonable doubt
– that the circumstantial evidence should be so cogent and compelling as to convince a jury that upon no rational hypothesis other than murder can the facts be accounted for