The House of Lords in Seymour 1983 2 AC 493 sought to identify the mens rea for "motor manslaughter" (negligently causing death when driving a motor vehicle). Reference was made to Caldwell 1982 AC 341 and Lawrence 1982 AC 510 which held that a person was reckless if:
The conclusion was that for motor manslaughter (and, by implication, for all cases of gross negligence), it was more appropriate to adopt this definition of recklessness. Consequently, if the defendant created an obvious and serious risk of causing physical injury to someone, there could be liability whether there was simple inadvertence or conscious risk-taking. It was no longer a defence to argue that the negligence had not been gross.
In Adomako 1995 1 AC 171 an anaesthetist failed to notice that a tube had become disconnected from the ventilator and the patient died. Lord Mackay disapproved Seymour and held that the Bateman test of gross negligence was the appropriate test in manslaughter cases involving a breach of duty, allowing the jury to consider the accused's conduct in all the surrounding circumstances, and to convict only if the negligence was very serious. Individuals have a duty to act in the following situations:
In Attorney-General’s Reference (No 2 of 1999) 2000 3 AER 182, a case on corporate manslaughter that arose out of the Southall rail crash, the Court of Appeal decided the defendant's subjective state of mind (i.e. whether there was conscious risk-taking) is irrelevant and, therefore, so is the question of recklessness, leaving the objective test as the only test for liability. Rose LJ, said:
Although there may be cases where the defendant’s state of mind is relevant to the jury’s consideration when assessing the grossness and criminality of his conduct, evidence of his state of mind is not a pre-requisite to a conviction for manslaughter by gross negligence. The Adomako test is objective, but a defendant who is reckless as defined in Stone may well be the more readily found to be grossly negligent to a criminal degree. In our judgment unless an identified individual’s conduct, characterisable as gross criminal negligence, can be attributed to the company, the company is not, in the present state of the common law, liable for manslaughter.Civil negligence rules are not apt to confer criminal liability…the identification principle remains the only basis in common law for corporate liability for gross negligence manslaughter. (see imputation). This was only persuasive authority for the law of manslaughter at large, but R v DPP, ex p Jones 2000 (QBD) IRLR 373 which said that the test of negligent manslaughter is objective, confirmed Attorney General’s Reference (No 2 of 1999) as a correct general statement of law.
In R v Dawson 1985 81 Cr. App R. 150 a petrol station attendant with a weak heart died of heart failure when the appellant attempted a robbery of the station. In judging whether this act was sufficiently dangerous, the Court of Appeal applied a test based on the "sober and reasonable" bystander who could be assumed to know that the use of a replica gun was likely to terrify people and so be a danger to those with a weak heart. Note the aggravated form of criminal damage with intent to endanger life under s1(2) Criminal Damage Act 1971 which could provide the unlawful act if the damage actually causes death. But R v Carey, C and F 2006 EWCA Crim 17 limits the scope of unlawful act manslaughter. An argument became violent and the first defendant punched and kicked one victim. The second defendant assaulted the deceased by pulling her hair back and punching her in the face. The third defendant assaulted another. The deceased was one of the first to run away, after which she felt faint, and later died of a heart condition (ventricular fibrillation or dysrhythmia) which was congenital but which had not been diagnosed before her death. The unlawful act was said to be the affray and the judge held that it was legitimate to aggregate the violence by the other defendants in order to decide whether the affray had subjected the deceased to the threat of at least some physical harm, and so had been a cause of death. On appeal, it was inappropriate to hold the defendants liable for the death. There must be an unlawful act that was dangerous in the sense that sober and reasonable persons would recognise that the act was such as to subject Y to the risk of physical harm. In turn, that act must cause the death. When deciding whether an act is dangerous, knowledge of the victim's characteristics may be relevant. In this case, no reasonable person would have been aware of the victim's heart condition which distinguishes this case from Dawson, and from R v Watson 1989 1 WLR 684 in which the victim's approximate age (he was 87 years old) and frail state would have been obvious to a reasonable person. A sober and reasonable person would not have foreseen that an apparently healthy person of 15 years would suffer shock as a result of it. The court held that the deceased's death was not caused by injuries that were a foreseeable result of the affray. The assault by the second defendant was an unlawful act causing death. The other two defendants could have been convicted by virtue of common purpose given that the death was an accidental departure from the general plan of the affray. But the Crown did not elect to present the case in this way, but pleaded the case as a public order group activity. The result would be that if anyone died in a general disturbance amounting to an affray, all those who participated could be convicted of manslaughter which would be against public policy. Deaths in a general disturbance are too remote to be caused by all participants.
Thus, a punch which causes a person to fall will almost inevitably satisfy the test of dangerousness, and where the victim falls and suffers a fatal head injury the accused is guilty of manslaughter. It is foreseeable that the victim is at risk of suffering some physical harm (albeit not serious harm) from such a punch and that is sufficient. Physical harm includes shock. The reason why the death resulting from the attempted robbery of the 60 year old petrol station attendant was not manslaughter was that the attempted robbery was not dangerous in the relevant sense. It was not foreseeable that an apparently healthy 60 year old man would suffer shock and a heart attack as a result of such an attempted robbery. But the jury properly found that it was foreseeable that an obviously frail and very old man was at risk of suffering shock leading to a heart attack as a result of a burglary committed at his home late at night.
In R v Charles James Brown 2005 EWCA Crim 2868, following the break-up of his relationship with his girlfriend, at about 3 pm., the applicant sent a text message to his mother saying that he did not want to live any more. He then drove his car against the flow of traffic along the hard shoulder of the A1(M) at high speed, before moving into the carriageway, still accelerating and straddling the centre line. He then crashed, head on, into an oncoming car, killing the passenger and injuring many others in the resulting consequential crashes. A sentence of 10 years' detention in a young offender institution was upheld because although the intentional focus might have been only on suicide, the defendant must have known from the way he was driving that he would kill or injure at least one other person (thus enforcing an objective standard on the defendant).
New General Mathematics Data Have Been Reported by Researchers at Wroclaw University of Environmental and Life Sciences.
Aug 16, 2011; "Chen ideal submanifolds M (n) in Euclidean ambient spaces E (n+m) (of arbitrary dimensions n>= 2 and codimensions m>= 1) at each...