Where an offender had been involved in the supply of a controlled drug that was then self-administered by the person to whom it was supplied, resulting in their death, it was appropriate to find the offender guilty of manslaughter if the jury was satisfied that, when the drug was handed by the offender to the deceased "for immediate injection", both parties were engaged in the one activity of administering the drug.Leave to appeal to the House of Lords given.The appellant (K) appealed against his conviction ((1999) Crim LR 65) for manslaughter, via a reference under the Criminal Appeal Act 1995 s.9. The victim had died as a result of injecting himself with heroin. K had prepared the "hit" of heroin and given the victim the syringe ready for injection. The issue for determination was when it was appropriate to find someone guilty of manslaughter where that person had been involved in the supply of a controlled drug, which was then self-administered by the person to whom it was supplied and caused his death.HELD: It was open to the jury to convict K of manslaughter. To convict, the jury had to be satisfied that when the heroin was handed to the deceased "for immediate injection" K and the deceased were both engaged in the one activity of administering the heroin, R v Dalby 1 All ER 916 distinguished and R v Dias (2001) EWCA Crim 2986 , (2002) CLR 490 considered. If the jury were satisfied of that then K was responsible for taking the action in concert with the deceased to enable the deceased to inject himself with the syringe of heroin that had been made ready for his immediate use. However, there was no need for the jury to find that K had encouraged the deceased to inject himself with the heroin. The appeal judge was right when he regarded that the critical question for the jury as being whether K could be said to be jointly responsible for the carrying out of the act causative of death. In the instant case, the jury were entitled to find that K and the deceased, who were carrying out a combined operation, were jointly engaged in administering the heroin. If K and the deceased were acting in concert in administering the heroin, it was inevitable that the unlawful act contrary to the Offences against the Person Act 1861 s.23 was causative of the deceased's death, R v Finlay (2003) EWCA Crim 3868 considered. There was no error in the reasoning of the appeal judge to the effect that the conviction was safe.Appeal dismissed.The petition by the defendant seeking leave to appeal to the House of Lords in this case was allowed.For related proceedings see R v Kennedy (1999) Crim LR 65.

[2005] EWCA Crim 685

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