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   Home      R v Kennedy [2007]
R v Kennedy [2007] 3 WLR 612 House of Lords

The appellant prepared a solution of heroin filled a syringe and handed it to Mr Bosque, a fellow resident at a hostel. Bosque injected himself and died. The appellant was convicted of supplying a class A drug and constructive manslaughter. Two appeals to the Court of Appeal were unsuccessful. On the second appeal the Court of Appeal certified the following question of law:

"When is it appropriate to find someone guilty of manslaughter where that person has been involved in the supply of a class A controlled drug, which is then freely and voluntarily self-administered by the person to whom it was supplied, and the administration of the drug then causes his death?"


The appeal was allowed and the appellant's conviction for manslaughter quashed.
“It is possible to imagine factual scenarios in which two people could properly be regarded as acting together to administer an injection. But nothing of the kind was the case here. As in R v Dalby and R v Dias the appellant supplied the drug to the deceased, who then had a choice, knowing the facts, whether to inject himself or not. The heroin was, as the certified question correctly recognises, self-administered, not jointly administered. The appellant did not administer the drug. Nor, for reasons already given, did the appellant cause the drug to be administered to or taken by the deceased.
The answer to the certified question is: "In the case of a fully-informed and responsible adult, never".
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