is intending to cause someone to be bed bound GBH?

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Toreyy__
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In one of my assignments, the defendant intends to 'sedate' and make the victim 'bed bound' but instead the victim dies. Does D commit a murder offence? Since the mens reu for murder is intention to kill or intention to cause GBH, would intending to make someone bed bound amount to an intention to cause GBH. Would anyone be able to provide any legal authorities as well.
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Harl1403
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Unlawful act manslaughter with the unlawful act being GBH as they intended to make them bed bound not to kill them. Murder would need intention to kill not intention to make bed bound. That’s what I’d say anyway...
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legalhelp
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OP, did you ever get the answers you needed for this / have you already completed this assignment? Causing someone to be bedbound, even if not permanently, is almost certainly capable of constituting GBH. If you are satisfied that you have evidence of intention to cause that GBH, then you have the mens rea necessary for murder (as you have correctly identified). To the second poster: if the unlawful act is GBH, then you have established intention to cause GBH, which is sufficient for murder. In other words, unlawful act manslaughter where the unlawful act is GBH would just be murder. As an alternative to murder, you could potentially argue unlawful act manslaughter with the unlawful act being one of the administering poison offences in OAPA, but that would depend on the facts.
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username402722
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So if you spread Covid 19 by your inactions (not wearing a face covering for example), and someone dies, could you be charged with manslaughter?
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legalhelp
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(Original post by barnetlad)
So if you spread Covid 19 by your inactions (not wearing a face covering for example), and someone dies, could you be charged with manslaughter?
This is a good, and quite complicated question! There are very many practical and evidential reasons why a prosecution in the circumstances you describe would never get off the ground. However the answer, in principle, is as follows.

There are two broad categories of manslaughter: (1) where the defendant (D) intended to kill or cause GBH, but has available to him one of the partial defences to murder, such as diminished responsibility; and (2) "involuntary manslaughter", where D does not intend to kill or cause GBH, but the victim (V) dies anyway as a consequence of D's act. Involuntary manslaughter then takes two forms: unlawful act manslaughter; and gross negligence manslaughter. In the scenario you describe, we would be dealing with involuntary manslaughter.

Applying then each of the two types of involuntary manslaughter in turn. Unlawful act manslaughter arises where D causes someone's death as a result of some unlawful act. Sounds obvious, but you have to establish that an unlawful act has actually occurred. In this case, you would need to show D, without reasonable excuse, breached the regulations mandating the wearing of face masks in certain places, and on public transport (which is a criminal offence, provided it falls within the scope of the Regs). You would then need to show that that unlawful act was objectively dangerous. Both of those things (i.e. the breach of the Regs, and the objective dangerousness) are not easy to establish, particularly given the breadth of possible "reasonable excuses" available as a defence to a breach of the Regs.

You're then left with gross negligence manslaughter. Again this is a complicated area, but put shortly, you would need to show D breached an existing duty of care to V, in circumstances where it was reasonably foreseeable that D's breach would give rise to a serious and obvious risk of death, and where D's conduct was so bad in all the circumstances as to amount to a criminal act. This is a very high hurdle. By way of relevant example, you may have seen the press coverage of the awful case where someone spat at a TFL train worker, and she subsequently died of Covid-19. It is common sense that spitting on someone in the middle of a global pandemic is more serious than simply not wearing a mask, but even in these circumstances, the police did not have sufficient evidence to charge anyone. I think this was largely an issue of causation (i.e. establishing that the victim's death was a result of being spat at), but it demonstrates the practical difficulties with bringing cases of this kind.

TL;DR: almost certainly not.
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