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R v Miller [1983] 2 AC 161 House of Lords

The defendant had been out drinking for the evening. He went back to the house he had been staying in and fell asleep on a mattress with a lighted cigarette in his hand. He awoke and saw that the cigarette had started a small fire. Upon seeing the fire, he then got up and went to another room and went back to sleep. At his trial, the prosecution did not rely on the acts of the defendant in falling asleep with a lighted cigarette as being reckless, but relied solely on the grounds that upon becoming aware of the fire he failed to take steps to put the fire out or call the fire brigade.

Held:

The defendant had created a dangerous situation and owed a duty to call the fire brigade upon becoming aware of the fire. He was therefore liable for his omission to do so.
 
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