Thin skull ruleWatch
What are the exceptions to the thin skull rule? When can it not be used and are there any cases where it hasn’t applied where the defendant has been found not guilty?
The seminal case is the COA judgment in R. v. Roberts, where it was held that causation was broken in the event of "daft" behaviour that was "unforeseeable". Reconciling this thinking with R. v. Blaue is more complicated, and the effect of Blaue is a matter of some debate. It could be argued that any behaviour by the defendant that merely constitutes an omission will not break causation (This would be in line with the thinking of R. v. Holland). However, the more correct interpretation seems to be that the thin skull rule will extend beyond physical characteristics to matters of religious or ethical conviction. It is not necessary that the victims religion, as in Blaue, is forseeable or known to the accused. However, whether or not a victim's behaviour will be seen as "daft" or "unforeseeable" will be judged by reference to a person possessing the same religious or moral beliefs.