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R v Pagett (1983) 76 Cr App R 279

 
The appellant aged 31 had separated from his wife and formed a relationship with a 16 year old girl. She became pregnant. She finished the relationship when she was six months pregnant because he was violent towards her. He did not take the break up well and drove to her parents house armed with a shotgun. He shot the father in the leg and took the mother at gunpoint and demanded she took him to where her daughter was. When there, after various threatening and violent behaviour, he then took the girl. He drove off with the mother and daughter. The police caught up with him and he kicked the mother out of the car and drove off with the daughter. He took her to a flat and kept her hostage. Armed police followed him. He used the girl as a shield as he came out of the flat and walked along the balcony. The police saw a figure walking towards them but could not see who it was. The appellant fired shots at the police and the police returned fire. The police shot the girl who died. The appellant was convicted of possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life, kidnap of the mother and daughter, attempted murder on the father and two police officers and the manslaughter of the girl. He appealed against the manslaughter conviction on the issue of causation.

Held:

Conviction upheld. The firing at the police officers caused them to fire back. In firing back the police officers were acting in self -defence. His using the girl as a shield caused her death.
 
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