Criminal Law Case Study

2266 Words10 Pages
Sara was teaching her husband, Tom to drive but he was a slow learner frequently subjected to excessive criticism by Sara and there were numerous arguments between them. During the course of a lesson, Sara suggested to Tom that he was not using the clutch properly. Tom made no reply but, a few minutes later, suddenly steered the car off the road into a ditch. At the time, Sara was not wearing her seatbelt and she was thrown through the windscreen and badly injured. Had she received prompt treatment, she would probably have survived but her body was not discovered until three hours later. Tom had also been injured in the crash and he was found by Vic an hour later, wandering about outside Vic’s house, rambling and incoherent. Vic took him in and gave him a very large glass of brandy. Tom then left the house, walked along a pavement and crossed a main road in front of fast moving traffic. Una was driving on the road at the time and, in swerving to avoid Tom, ran into a queue of people at a bus stop and killed Walter. When stopped and questioned, Tom was though to be drunk but he maintained that he had no recollection of anything that had occurred after the original crash involving Sara. (a) Analyse the facts above to show whether and how Tom may be guilty of Sara’s murder. How might he seek to reduce his liability for her death? (b) (i) Explain the elements of the different forms of “involuntary” manslaughter (ii) Consider whether Tom is guilty of the manslaughter of Walter, examining any arguments which may be raised in Tom’s favour. (c ) Tom’s guilt or innocence would be decided by the jury. How satisfactory is trial by jury? (d) How far do the rules of law which you have discussed above indicate the importance attached to the notion of degree of fault as
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