R v Clarke [2013]


  • Clarke (2 defendants) assaulted the victim, who had osteoporosis
  • Clarke attempted to resuscitate the victim following the assault
  • Medical evidence suggested that the cause of the victims resulting death was the damage to his ribs sustained during the resuscitation attempts


  • Could the conviction be quashed on the basis that the judge said in writing that it was not for the jury to decide whether the cause of death was a substantial cause?


  • No, conviction secure


  • The judge was wrong to say what he said in writing; it is for the jury to decide whether the defendant caused death
  • The conviction was secure however, as the judge correctly stated the jury requirement orally, and also stated orally that his written notes were not guidance on the law
  • The judge was entitled to rule that a ‘expert’ was not sufficiently credible to give evidence
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