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R v Willoughby [2005]


  • The defendant set fire to his pub in order to claim insurance monies
  • The fire accidentally killed an innocent other


  • Was the defendant guilty of manslaughter?


  • Yes


  • No duty was identified, but the Court of Appeal accepted that a manslaughter conviction could be upheld on the basis that it is for the jury to decide whether a duty exits as a question of fact, and not for the judge to decide as a question of law
  • Unlawful act manslaughter would have been much easier to reason, according to the court
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