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R v Smith [1959]

Facts

  • The victim was stabbed by Smith, before being carried to a nearby hospital by his drunken friends
  • En route to the hospital, he was dropped several times
  • At the hospital, he was negligently treated

Issue

  • Did Smith cause the death of the victim?

Decision

  • Yes

Reasoning

  • At the time of death, the stabbing was still an operating and substantial cause of death
  • The victim’s decreased chance of survival due to the subsequent acts of the friends and the hospital was irrelevant
  • Neither of the two subsequent acts was a supervening act
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