R. v. Gibbins & Proctor (1918) 13 Crim. App. 134
Gibbins and Proctor were charged and convicted of murdering Gibbins’ seven-year-old daughter by allowing her to starve to death.
Proctor was Gibbins’ mistress and lived with him and his daughter. Mr. Gibbins appealed against his conviction on the grounds that he gave money to Proctor to look after his children, including the deceased, and believed she was well looked after.
Whether the appellants’ failure to provide nourishment to the child amounted to the necessary act or omission to establish the offence of murder.
The failure to provide nourishment to the child amounted to the necessary omission to establish the offence of murder.
The jury concluded that since Mr. Gibbins was in the same house with the girl, he ought to have known that she was not properly taken care of by Proctor, and he perhaps chose to ignore her condition because he was infatuated with Proctor.
What Mr. Gibbins did was fail to act in a circumstance where he had the legal obligation or duty to care for his daughter.