R v Sellu

Criminal law – Manslaughter. The Court of Appeal, Criminal Division, allowed the defendant consultant colorectal surgeon's appeal against conviction for manslaughter by gross negligence of the deceased patient. The defendant had not had the benefit of sufficiently detailed directions to the jury in relation to the concept of gross negligence contained within the offence of gross negligence manslaughter. That failure had been underlined by the way in which the expert witnesses had asserted gross negligence in their evidence and had been aggravated by the absence of a route to verdict which would have focussed the jury's minds on the various stages to be considered. Accordingly, the conviction was unsafe and would be quashed.

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