Crime XXXXXXVIII – Involuntary Manslaughter IX

In order to successfully obtain a conviction for gross negligence manslaughter the prosecution does not need to prove that the defendant foresaw the risk i.e. foresight of risk is not a prerequisite to obtaining a conviction for gross negligence manslaughter.

In R v Mark and Another (2004) the defendants were managers in a company employed to clean a resin (a sticky flammable substance exuded by trees) storage tank. Two apprentices were cleaning the tank when one of them knocked over a halogen lamp, resulting in an explosion in which one of the apprentices was killed. The defendants were tried and convicted for gross negligence manslaughter. The defense appealed to bring the matter before the House of Lords.

It was decided that the test that was to be applied was the subjective recklessness test or the test in R v Cunningham (1957) i.e. the defendant was “reckless as to whether such harm should occur or not”. The defendants were refused leave to appeal the conviction.

Copyright © 2018 by Dyarne Ward

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