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such as breaking a number of windows, in a manner MODUS. described, or some other manner unknown.

II. The property injured belonging to a person described.

Where the crime consists solely in injury to the Owner specified. property of others, the owner must be specified (1).

Where the charge relates to the obstruction of Railway obstrucrailways under the Statute (2), it should state


I. That the accused at a certain time and place, and on a certain line of railway, did "wilfully" do or cause to be done, or assist in doing, as the case may be, an act described, such as placing a stone on the rails in such a manner as to obstruct trains, &c., passing along the line, in consequence whereof

II. An engine (and set of carriages) did come against the stone, and were thereby obstructed (or the safety of the persons conveyed by a certain train was endangered, as the case may be). Both circumstances -the obstruction and danger to persons (3), may be combined cumulatively.

In a charge of obstructing a railway, at common Common lawobstructing law, it is sufficient to aver the act, and that it was railway. done in a manner calculated and intended to obstruct the trains travelling on the line, and to endanger the safety of the persons conveyed by them. A charge at common law of "wilfully and recklessly" doing a similar act, is sufficiently stated by an averment of the fact, and that it was done in a manner calculated to obstruct trains (4).

MURDER.—Charges of murder vary with the mode Murder. to be described. In cases of murder by violence, there is generally a statement

I. That the accused did wickedly and feloniously

1 John Mackirdy, Glasgow, Oct. 1st 1856; 2 Irv. 474 (observation per Lord Justice Clerk Hope).

2 Act 3 and 4 Vict. c. 97, § 15.

3 John E. Murdoch, Perth, May 2d 1849; J. Shaw 229 (indictment). 4 John E. Murdoch, Perth, May 2d 1849; John Shaw 229.


Different modes of violence.

attack and assault A. B., giving a detailed account of
the violence, and —

II. An averment" by all which or part thereof the
deceased suffered certain injuries, and immediately or
soon thereafter died, or died on a certain date named,

III. “Was thus murdered by you the said C. D.”

Where a charge of murder set forth violence by blows and by strangling, it was objected that the libel spoke of fracture of the skull and strangulation, ascribing the death to both : the Court repelled the objection, holding that the prosecutor was entitled, under the words, “by all which or part thereof,” to prove the death to have resulted from one or other, or both of the injuries, and that he could not be compelled to state the cause of death more specifically (1). And in another case, a charge that the deceased was “strangled, or suffocated, or drowned," was sustained, the species facti set forth being, that the accused did seize the deceased by the neck, and strangle or suffocate him, and did drag and throw him into the water (2). Where a body was found in the sea, and it was difficult to say whether the external injuries were the result of the submersion, or were inflicted previously, the Court, on a satement that the libel was drawn as specifically as was possible in the circumstances, allowed a charge to pass which first described injuries by violence, and then added,

or you did, at “or near Granton Quarry. aforesaid, throw the said “ John Matson, or cause him to be thrown into the

sea, and did leave him therein, by all which, &c. (3). 1 Arthur Woods and Henrietta been more satisfactory had there Woods, H.C., Feb. 25th 1839 ; Bell's been a statement indicating the Notes 196.

difficulty of libelling precisely. It 2 Pet. Cameron, Inverness, April seems inadvisable that relevancy 15th 1841 ; 2 Swin. 543 and Bell's should be upheld by a verbal stateNotes 196. See also Ann Tinman, ment by the prosecutor, when it H.C., March 2d 1873; 2 Couper 503. is easy to set forth the circum

3 Alex. Matson, H.C., Nov. 27th stances which entitle the prosecutor 1848 ; J. Shaw 127. It would have to an exceptionally wide latitude.

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Again a libel after charging the accused with certain Modus.
violence, added, “and did violently twist a rope or
“other ligature round his neck ; by all which or
"part thereof, his skull was fractured, and he was
strangled,” &c. The objection was repelled that the
strangulation was not explicitly stated to have been
caused by the accused (1).

In other cases of death by violence, where the Violence.
injuries are not the result of a direct assault, as in the
case of a person falling to the bottom of a coal-pit
shaft and being killed, in consequence of the accused
having cut the strands of the cage rope, the charge
sets forth-

I. The act(s) done, with the qualification of the words “ wilfully, wickedly, and feloniously,” or similar words,

II. The resulting death, and —

III. That the deceased was thus murdered by the accused.

Where the murder is by means of poison, the Poison. charge states

I. That the accused “ did administer or cause to be “ taken by” the deceased, in a manner described e.g., "in tapioca and in porter or beer, or one or more “ of them, or in some other articles of food or drink to

the prosecutor unknown, or in some other manner to " the prosecutor unknown,"

II. A quantity or quantities of a certain poison named “or other poison to the prosecutor unknown,”

III. That the deceased having taken the said poison, did, in consequence, die at a particular time, and

IV. “ Was thus murdered by you, the said A. B."

Lastly, as regards those cases which may relevantly Death resulting be charged as murders, though the death was not erime directly inflicted by the accused : it is a good charge

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1 Arthur Woods and Henrietta Young or Woods, H.C., Feb. 25th

1839 ; 2 Swin. 323 and Bell's Notes


Death by supervening disease.

Culpable homicide or injury.

Illegal act.

of murder, if the prosecutor set forth such criminal
acts as wilful and wholly reckless desertion of an
infant (1), or attempt to procure abortion, or the
like (2), and aver the death and murder as above.

Where death has ensued from disease supervening
on the injury, it is not necessary to set forth the
disease, the question whether it was a direct conse.
quence of, and therefore a part of, the injury, being
one of proof (3).


The modes of libelling
vary considerably. Where the injury is caused by
an illegal or culpable or reckless act, the charge sets

I. The acts done, such as assaulting and striking (or administering a quantity of a drug, or driving furiously, or firing a gun near a road, or the like, whereby the person was knocked down or stupefied or wounded, as the case may be),

II. That, in consequence thereof, the injured person died (or was injured in a manner described), and

III. (In cases of culpable homicide) that he was thus culpably bereaved of life by the accused.

Where there is culpable or reckless neglect of duty, causing injury, the charge begins by

I. A statement of what the accused's duty was,

II. A charge that nevertheless he did certain things,

III. That a certain result followed whereby a certain person was injured, and —

IV. (In culpable homicide) in consequence, died, and was—

Neglect of duty.

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V. Thus culpably killed by the accused. 1 Elizabeth Kerr, H.C., Dec. 1858 ; 3 Irv. 235, and 31 S. J. 24th 1860 ; 3 Irv. 645. 2 Will. Reid, H.C., Nov. 10th 3 Jas. Stewart, Ayr, Sept. 21st

1858; 3 Irv. 206.



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Certain cases require more elaboration in charging Modus. the acts done or neglected than others. E.g., in cases of injury by reckless driving, it is sufficient, after describing,

I. That the accused had carts, horses, &c., as the case may be, under his charge, to state that

. II. The accused did “culpably, negligently, and recklessly drive the said cart along the high road, “ leading,” &c., following this up by

III. A statement of what followed—“in consequence whereof, the said horse or the wheel or other "part of the said cart, or one or other of them, did,

on the said high road, and at or near a part “thereof,” (here the particular place is described),

come in contact with the person of A. B., carter, “then residing in or near Musselburgh aforesaid,

whereby he was injured,” or mortally injured," &c., &c., as the case may be (1). In a charge of Reckless reckless steering of a vessel, it was held sufficient to set forth that the accused “did navigate, direct,

manage or steer, the said smack or boat, in a

culpable, negligent, and reckless manner, and without due regard to the safety of persons in other “ boats fishing, or otherwise engaged, in or near the "said Sound of Raasay,” and in consequence the boat ran down and sank another boat described, “then “ lying in or near said Sound,” and that thereby, &c. (2). But such a charge as causing death by un- Administration skilful administration of drugs, or the like, niust be particularly set forth. An indictment held irrelevant which charged the accused with holding himself out as competent to dispense drugs, and with neglecting to make proper inquiries as to the state of the person to whom the medicine he sold was to be

1 Will. Messon, Perth, April 2 Angus Macpherson and John 29th 1841 ; 2 Swin. 548 and Bell's Stewart, Inverness, Sept. 24th Notes 192.-Geo. Murray, Aber- 1861 ; 4 Irv. 85. deen, April 1841 ; 2 Swin. 549 note.

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of drugs.


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