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Lecture 3

LAWS 2302 Lecture 3: LAWS 2302: Criminal Law Lecture 3

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LAWS 2302
Mike Smith

Lecture 3 Actus Reas cases: R v Jordan (1956): The defendant stabbed the victim. The victim was taken to hospital where he was given antibiotics after showing an allergic reaction to them. He was also given excessive amounts of intravenous liquids. He died of pneumonia 8 days after admission to hospital. At the time of death his wounds were starting to heal. Held: The victim died of the medical treatment and not the stab wound. The defendant was not liable for his death. Regina v Jordan: focusing on the actus reas (the question of law that needs to be answered and the judge determines whether the act causes the crime). Belmont was stabbed in the intestine and the doctors thought to give him antibiotics (they continued to give the anti biotics) but Belmont was allergic to the antibiotics and they found that when he died the stab wound was already healing and he died from pneumonia. Court came to the decision that Jordan did not cause the death of Belmont. Causation chain: Stabbing (actus reas) bad medicationpneumonia (iv drip into lungs) death. *Read case: R. v. Smith: there was a fight in an army and three different people got stabbed and the commanding officer asked who did it but one person said they killed him but Smith convicted of murder. Friend dropped victim twice who had a punctured lung, which made the victim more injured. Causation chain: Stabbingfall x 2 medication death. Act of commission. Jordan acquitted and smith was convicted. Belmont went on to live for several days whereas private Creed died within 12 hours. Belmont intestines were in the process of healing. The fall wasnt significant enough. If there is a significant break (like in the Jordan case, not a little break like the fall in the Smith case) in the causation change it is going to be hard for the crown to prove murder.
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