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Regina v. Martin Dyos

Central Criminal Court
Crim. L. Rev. 660-62 (1979)


Dyos (defendant) was a member of a group of seven young men who participated in a fight with another group of five youths following a dance at a community center. During the fight, one of the group of five, RM, was hit in the forehead by a brick and received another blow behind his right ear. Dyos admitted to the police that he had hit RM with the brick but there was no indication as to the source of the second wound. When RM subsequently died from his injuries, Dyos was charged with affray, murder and grievous bodily harm. At Dyos’ trial, a pathologist testified that both wounds were potentially fatal, that RM might have survived from the first wound, but that there was no certainty as to which wound occurred first. At the close of the prosecution’s (plaintiff’s) case, the court granted Dyos’ motion to dismiss the murder charge on the grounds that, first, the injury behind RM’s ear might have been the cause of death, and second, there was no evidence that Dyos’ blow with the brick was beyond a reasonable doubt the cause of death. The prosecution appealed to the Central Criminal Court.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Cantley, J.)

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