R v Gibbins and Proctor (1918) 13 Cr App Rep 134

Key point
  • A legal duty to act can arise from a moral obligation deriving a relationship with the victim
  • Gibbins and his partner, Proctor, neglected and starved V, Gibbins’s child
  • V died of starvation
Held (Court of Criminal Appeal)
  • Gibbins and Proctor were rightly convicted for murder
Darling J
  • As the live-in partner of Gibbins and having received money from Gibbins for food sufficient for the three of them, Proctor had a moral obligation to care for the child, from which arose a legal duty, which was deliberately left unperformed
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