- Arguing causation in gross negligence manslaughter cases (R v Rebelo)
- What are the practical implications of this case?
- What was the background?
- What was the Court’s decision?
- Case details
Corporate Crime analysis: This case concerned an appeal against conviction for gross negligence manslaughter. Mr Rebelo had supplied a chemical, Dinitrophenol (DNP) as a weight loss food supplement. A 21-year-old student, who had certain mental health issues ingested eight capsules purchased from Mr Rebelo. She subsequently died. Mr Rebelo was convicted in 2020, an earlier conviction having been quashed by the Court of Appeal on the basis that the jury had been incorrectly directed as to causation. In this appeal, it was argued that the direction in the retrial did not accord with the earlier decision of the Court of Appeal. Mr Rebelo also renewed his application to appeal the trial judge’s refusal to adjourn the hearing for additional expert evidence. The Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) refused the appeal and did not give leave in respect of the refusal of the adjournment. This case gives important guidance on the test of causation and the significance of mental health issues that may affect the victim’s decision-making. Written by Claire Andrews, barrister at Gough Square Chambers.
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