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Smithers v Her Majesty The Queen, [1978] 1 SCR 506


Hockey game. S challenged C. S punched C then kicked him very hard in stomach. C dies 5 min later. Cause of death was aspiration due to vomiting. Dr at trial said that the kick very probably caused vomiting and could have caused C to aspirate the vomit


Has the appellant committed homicide and whether such homicide was culpable for the reason that it was caused by an unlawful act?


Test for legal Causation – Contributing cause beyond the de minimis range, they can be said to have legally caused to incident.

Even if death is unexpected and the physical reactions of the deceased unexpected, if the accused intended to do grievous bodily harm to the deceased, that could be enough to show causation


The answer to whether A caused B is a factual question
**About actual mechanical link between accused and forbidden act
**Expert evidence is admissible to establish factual cause
***Purely diagnosis – do not require them to distinguish between what is a cause and what is a condition

It is no defence to manslaughter charge that the fatality was not anticipated or that death would not ordinarily result from the unlawful act


Causation was proved


Causation requirement can be made out for the full extent of the unlawful consequence regardless of the fact the complainant has a thin skull

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