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R v Evans [2009]

Facts

  • Evans gave her sister some heroin, which was then self-administered
  • Following symptoms of overdose, Evans failed to summon medical attention

Issue

  • Was this gross negligence manslaughter?

Decision

  • Yes

Reasoning

  • Although the injection was the voluntary act of the victim, a duty to take care of the victim was present, and breached by omission
  • It is for the judge to decide whether there is a duty of care present and what that duty is
  • It is for the jury to decide whether that duty has been breached, and if so, whether that breach is serious enough to be labelled as a crime
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