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R v McKechnie [1992]

Facts

  • McKechnie and others attacked an elderly man, causing brain damage
  • In hospital, it was discovered that the man had a stomach ulcer
  • The stomach ulcer could not be treated due to the brain damage
  • The ulcer burst, causing death

Issue

  • Did Mckechnie cause (in law) the death of the elderly man?

Decision

  • Yes

Reasoning

  • Although the ulcer may not have been discovered if it were not for McKechnie causing the man to visit hospital, and the man would likely not have died from the inflicted injuries alone, it is for a defendant to take a victim as he finds him
  • The brain damage was a substantial cause of death, as it prevented life-saving treatment
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