Commercial Awareness Update 14/12/16

Commercial Awareness Update 14/12/16

Here are today’s headlines:

‘Victim’s family awarded damages after NHS neglect lead to his death’

In October 2013, Jason Smith – the claimant’s deceased partner – was admitted into hospital following severe stomach cramps. The day after his admission, he died from internal bleeding. The claimant and Mr Smith’s family claim that the NHS neglected Mr Smith and their failure to perform a duty of care resulted in his death. Mr Smith was admitted to Whipps Cross Hospital, Leytonstone where Mrs Smith claims that the NHS staff at this hospital failed to monitor Mr Smith and carry out relevant tests. This negligence was supported by the Walthamstow coroner in February 2015. The coroner’s report states ‘death by natural causes contributed to by neglect’. It continues to state that the NHS staff ‘did not take a full and thorough history’ from the patient. Despite carrying out an X-ray and monitoring the patient’s heart, the hospital failed to carry out a CT scan or repeating a blood sample. Barts Health NHS Trust admitted liability to the High Court and on the 12th December 2016 Mr Justice Goss ruled damages were owed to the victim’s family. The High Court judge approved a confidential compensation payment to Mr Smith’s partner ant two children. The sum has been disclosed from the public however it is assumed in spans into 6 figures. Sourced from LexisNexis.  Read more here.

Philippine’s president admits to ‘personally killing’ criminals during his time as mayor of Davao 

Controversial leader, Rodrigo Duterte, admitted to ‘personally killing’ suspected criminals whilst he was mayor of Davao. The confession was in a speech he delivered late Monday night in regards to his ‘drug war’ campaign. The former mayor now president of the Philippines, killed to demonstrate to police ‘if I can do it, you can too’ He describes how he would ride around the streets on his motorbike ‘looking for trouble’. Duterte was mayor of the southern city, Davao, for twenty years and earnt himself a reputation for reducing crime and criticism for his supposed support of death squads. The US and UN have heavily criticised his anti-crime campaign for having no regard for human rights. Concerns from the two have triggered angry responses such as “If they say that I am afraid to stop because of the human rights and guys … including Obama, sorry, I am not about to do that,”. Duterte claims he has a friendlier relationship with US president-elect Donald Trump who allegedly ‘praised his war on drugs during a phone call this month’ notes the Guardian. However, this conversation has not been confirmed by Trump or his team. Since becoming president in June 2016, Duterte has publicly encouraged citizens to kill drug addicts and endorsed illegal executions done by the police. He also horrified many with his comparison of himself and Hitler saying “Hitler massacred three million Jews… There’s three million drug addicts. I’d be happy to slaughter them.” Read more on the BBC, or in The Guardian.

‘Banker found guilty of murdering his wife after she found out about his affair’

40-year-old Darren Byrne burnt his wife, Maria Byrne, alive after she found out he had been continuing his affair with his osteopath; Deborah Houlihan. Byrne is said to have knocked his wife out, covered her in white spirit and set her alight. In an attempt to cover up the murder, he proceeded to turn on the gas stove in hope the house would catch fire. However, this failed so he moved her body and staged a fatal cooking accident. The former city banker called the emergency services saying ‘The stove was on and the frying pan’s on the other side of the room. She’s not breathing. My wife is dead, she’s dead. She’s burnt badly.’ Byrne later told police that he was not in the home whilst the incident occurred; he was out walking the dog. However, Chelmsford Crown Court found him guilty of murdering his wife after the post-mortem found traces of white spirit on Mrs Byrne’s clothing and a half empty bottle of white spirit was found in the garage of the property. Justice Charles Gratwicke told Byrne “You have been convicted of what can only be described as a wicked and heinous crime”. Read more in The Independent.

Further reading:

  1. ‘Southern train drivers strike after court rejects appeal’ (The Guardian)
  2. ‘Over 800 English Lawyers Join the Irish Roll post-Brexit’ (The Student Lawyer)
  3. ‘Briton loses fight to stop Mormon ex-partner taking children to Utah’ (The Guardian)
  4. ‘Northern Ireland must not be ‘collateral damage’ of Brexit, report says’ (The Guardian)
  5. ‘Executive fined £10,000 for faking mortgage application document’ (The Law Gazette)


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