Nov 01, 2010— read in full
Religious beliefs and manslaughter: R v Blaue (1975)
A court ruled that a defendant could not be acquitted for blaming his victim’s fate on their belief system.
In 1975, Robert Blaue stabbed a woman, who was taken to hospital requiring an urgent blood transfusion. The victim was a Jehovah’s Witness, who refused the transfusion because of her religious beliefs.
She later died. At Teesside crown court, Mr Blaue attempted to appeal against his conviction for manslaughter stating that his victim would have survived had she accepted the blood transfusion.
He believed her refusal broke the chain of causation. The court, however, disagreed, dismissing his appeal and stating that those who inflict violence must take their victims as they find them.