Homicide-Related Offences Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Homicide-Related Offences Deck (10)
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Where a woman......

S178(1) CA61

Where a woman causes the death of any child of hers under the age of 10 years in a manner that amounts to culpable homicide, and where at the time of the offence the balance of her mind was disturbed,

by reason of her not having fully recovered from the effect of giving birth to that or any other child, or by reason of the effect of lactation, or by reason of any disorder consequent upon childbirth or lactation, to such an extent that she should not be held fully responsible,

she is guilty of infanticide, and not of murder or manslaughter, and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 years.

Of note

In charges of infanticide, it is for the jury to decide on the mother’s state of mind.


Causing death that might have been prevented
Causing injury the treatment of which causes death


Of note only

S165 CA61

Every one who by any act or omission causes the death of another person kills that person, although death from that cause might have been prevented by resorting to proper means.

S166 CA61

Every one who causes to another person any bodily injury, in itself of a dangerous nature, from which death results, kills that person, although the immediate cause of death be treatment, proper or improper, applied in good faith.


R v Blaue

Preventable death - related to S165

and example - summarise

R v Blaue

Those who use violence must take their victims as they find them.


The victim [a Jehovah’s witness] had been stabbed but refused to accept a blood transfusion on the ground that to do so would be contrary to her religious belief; despite a warning that she would die, she persisted in her refusal and in fact died on the following day. The cause of death was bleeding into the pleural cavity caused by the stabbing. An appeal against a conviction of manslaughter, on the ground that her refusal to have a blood transfusion was unreasonable and broke the chain of causation between the stabbing and her death, was dismissed.

The Court commented; “...It does not lie in the mouth of the assailant to say that his victim’s religious beliefs, which inhibited her from accepting certain kinds of treatment, were unreasonable. The question for decision is what caused her death. The answer is a stab wound. The fact that the victim refused to stop this end coming about did not break the causal connection between the act and death.”

Liability depends on the mens rea not on the victim’s subsequent actions.


Aiding and Abetting Suicide


Everyone is liable.....

and example

S179 CA61

Every one is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 14 years who—
(a) Incites, counsels, or procures any person to commit suicide, if that person commits or attempts to commit suicide in consequence thereof; or
(b) Aids or abets any person in the commission of suicide.


A person giving a tetraplegic an overdose of sleeping pills on the latter person’s request.


Suicide Pact


(1) Killing another person

Every one who.....

and example - summarise

S180(1) CA61

(1) Every one who in pursuance of a suicide pact kills any other person is guilty of manslaughter and not of murder, and is liable accordingly.


If Person A and Person B enter a suicide pact, and Person A shoots Person B, killing Person B, before shooting themselves, but Person A lives, then Person A would be guilty of manslaughter, and not murder.


Suicide Pact


(2) - Where one person dies

Where 2 or more persons enter.....

and example - summarise

S180(2) CA61

(2) Where 2 or more persons enter into a suicide pact, and in pursuance of it one or more of them kills himself, any survivor is guilty of being a party to a death under a suicide pact contrary to this subsection and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 5 years; but he shall not be convicted of an offence against section 179 of this Act.


If Person A and Person B both self administer a high dosage of morphine and Person A dies as a result of their own actions, but Person B survives the overdose. Person B would be guilty of being a party to a death under a suicide pact and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 5 years.

Person B cannot be convicted of an offence under s. 179 of the Crimes Act (Aiding and Abetting Suicide).


Suicide Pact


(3) Definition

For the purposes of this section the term suicide pact means........

S180(3) CA61

(3)........a common agreement between 2 or more persons having for its object the death of all of them, whether or not each is to take his own life; but nothing done by a person who enters into a suicide pact shall be treated as done by him in pursuance of the pact unless it is done while he has the settled intention of dying in pursuance of the pact.


Concealing dead body of child


Everyone is liable....

S181 CA61

Every one is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years who disposes of the dead body of any child in any manner with intent to conceal the fact of its birth, whether the child died before, or during, or after birth.

Of note

While the term “child” is not defined, the provision is evidently intended to refer to a child of comparatively recent birth.

The body must be dead when disposed of, although it is not necessary that the body should be found and identified.

If the child is alive when disposed of and subsequently dies, it may be murder or manslaughter or, in the case of the mother, infanticide.

The requirement that the act of disposal must be done with the intent of concealing the fact of birth may be satisfied even though the birth was known to some people but not others. Thus it will be enough that the intent was to conceal the birth from a particular individual.


General admissibility of hearsay

s18, Evidence Act 2006

(1) A hearsay statement is admissible in any proceeding if;

(a) The circumstances relating to the statement provide reasonable assurance that the statement is reliable; and

(b) either -
(i) the maker of the statement is unavailable as a witness; or
(ii) the judge considers that undue expense or delay would be caused if the maker of the statement were required to be a witness


Circumstances to consider under s16(1) of the Evidence Act 2006

- The nature of the statement
- The contents of the statement
- Circumstances relating to the making of the statement
- Circumstances relating to the veracity of the person making the statement
- Circumstances relating to the accuracy of the observation of the person