Unlawful killing

Unlawful killing

In English law unlawful killing is a verdict that can be returned by an inquest in England and Wales. The verdict means that a death was caused by another person, without lawful excuse and in breach of the criminal law, in other words homicide. This includes murder, manslaughter, infanticide and causing death by dangerous driving. It is important that the inquest does not name any individual person as responsible.Lord Mackay of Clashfern (ed.) (2006) "Halsbury's Laws of England", 4th ed. reissue, vol.9(2), "Coroners", 1043. Killed unlawfully] A verdict of unlawful killing generally leads to a Police investigation, with the aim of gathering sufficient evidence to identify, charge and prosecute the culprit(s).

The appropriate standard of proof is that the unlawful killing must be beyond reasonable doubt. If this standard is not met, a verdict of accidental death or death by misadventure should be considered on the balance of probabilities.

A verdict of unlawful killing was returned in the following cases:
* A jury decided on 7 April 2008 that Princess Diana and Dodi Al-Fayed had been unlawfully killed by the grossly negligent driving of chauffeur Henri Paul and paparazzi photographers.
* Matty Hull - killed in an U.S. friendly fire incident in 2003. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6456191.stm]
* Tom Hurndall - shot by an Israeli sniper in the Gaza Strip in 2003; [ cite web | url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/4896800.stm | publisher=BBC News | title='Unlawful killing' of Gaza Briton ]
* Terry Lloyd, who was fired on by US tanks near Basra on 22 March 2003. [ cite web | url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6046950.stm | publisher=BBC News | title=Iraq reporter unlawfully killed ]


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