Causing or allowing the death of a child or a young adult

Under the Domestic Violence Crime and Victims Act 2004 section 5 a person (D) is guilty of a criminal offence if a child or vulnerable adult (V) dies as a result of the unlawful act of D and who was a member of the same household as V and had frequent contact with V.

At the time there must be a significant risk of serious physical harm being caused to V by the unlawful act of D and either D was the person whose act caused Vs death or:

D was, or ought to have been, aware of the risk of serious physical harm

D failed to take such steps as he could reasonable have been expected to take to protect V from the risk of serious harm and

The act occurred in circumstances of the kind that D foresaw or ought to have foreseen

The offence created under this section is akin to cases where murder or manslaughter could be alleged. When the Crown Prosecution Service charges this offence it may often be charged alongside an allegation of murder or manslaughter and has the effect of altering the evidential and procedural rules for the trial.

The maximum sentence for this offence is 14 years imprisonment and can only be tried in the Crown Court.

The law surrounding this offence is complicated and involves a multitude of different legal issues. If you have been charged or are under investigation for this offence, or murder or manslaughter, it is essential that you take immediate legal advice from a competent criminal defence lawyer.

At Old Bailey Solicitors our criminal lawyers have decades of experience of defending the most serious and complex criminal matters including cases involving sensitive issues such as allegations of child abuse and neglect.

Our criminal solicitors are able to professionally deal with any media interest in your case and have dealt with high profile murder trials and other serious criminal cases.

Can we help you? Please contact us now.

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