statute nor the common law provided for an offence of injecting oneself with a
controlled drug and thus the defendant could not be secondary party to this”
In the case of Rogers2
the Court of appeal held that if the
victim self injects any controlled drugs then the defendant cannot be held
liable as a secondary party to that injection.
However, in the case of Finlay3
the court of appeal took a different
view that the defendant could be the secondary party to the injection and can
be made liable for the offence even if it was self injection by the victim
because such self injection will be considered foreseeable.
This confusion was cleared by the House Of Lords in the leading case of Kennedy4
The defendant cannot be made liable for the offence of
unlawful act manslaughter if the victim died because of self injection as the voluntary
act of the victim breaks the chain of causation and supplying controlled drugs
to the victim will not amount to unlawful act for the purpose of unlawful act
manslaughter. But firstly the decision of the court of appeal in Kennedy5
was against the defendant as the court
says that the act of the defendant was not only limited to the supply of the
So in this case Keith will not be liable for the death
of Kurt and in my viewpoint also Kurt was fully willing to self inject the
heroine into his body, the act of supplying the syringe of heroine to Kurt does
not amount to be unlawful for the act of unlawful act manslaughter.
In the part b) of the question Ginger went to the drug
supplier lenny who was suffering from some bad heart condition and his age was
60, Ginger becomes angry because the drug killed both kurt and Janis, while
they both were having an argument Ginger slams his fist on the desk of lenny
which causes lenny’s death.
The case of Dawson6
is having similar facts to the question as in this case the victim was a 60
year old man who was suffering from bad heart condition and the defendants
tried to rob at the petrol station, when the defendants entered the kiosk the
victim suffered a heart attack and died, the three men were convicted of
Unlawful act Manslaughter but Court of Appeal held that the defendants cannot
be held for the offence as they were not knowing the heart condition of the
victim and a reasonable man is not expected to know the heart condition of the
other person who is present at the scene.
However, where the
risk of harm becomes obvious to the reasonable person present at the scene of
the crime, the defendant’s Unlawful act becomes dangerous act, this was held in