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Murder - the relationship to GBH

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The Relationship of GBH to Murder

R v Cunningham (1981) HL

GBH means really serious bodily harm.

Cunningham attacked the deceased in a public house and hit him repeatedly with a chair. Cunningham argued that he had not intended to kill. However, there was no doubt that the seriousness of the beating had caused death. The principle of the case was that if Cunningham had intended to cause really serious injury he would be guilty of murder.


Alternative verdict

The Section 6 Criminal Law Act 1967 allows the jury to return an alternative verdict of manslaughter (and no other verdict). 

The jury does not have to specify which form of manslaughter they have found proved.


Only one Punishment

The only punishment for murder is imprisonment for life, and, when sentencing, the judge may recommend a minimum term to be served. This recommendation is known as the "Tariff".


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