Case Analysis of R v Hancock and Shank land (27 Feb 1985)


During the miner’s strike of 1984-5, two miners dropped concrete objects onto the path of an incoming convoy bearing a strike-breaking miner.[1]One day two miners were working on a bridge. They tried to push a concrete block onto a three lane highway. Where there is one miner who has been taking work from a taxi. Suddenly that concrete block has hit the taxi because of which there was death of taxi driver. The defendant had been charged with murder .They said they merely intended to block the road and to frighten the non-striking miner.[2]

On 30 November 1984, at  approx. 5 a.m. two miners of  age 21 years old  Regineld Dean Hencock and Russell Shankland has taken place a concrete block and on the parapet rail of Rhymney Bridge, which is South Wales.[3]

Hancock pushed the concrete block after half an hour whose  weight was over 20kg and it struck to the window of the taxi and killed the Willkie the driver. At nearly a similar time Shankland “flipped” a solid post gauging exactly 30 kg from the extension, which fell on to within path of the carriageway and hit the taxi a looking blow.[4]

Judge had directed jury to ask, was passing or genuine injury a characteristic result of what was finished? Did a respondent predict that outcome as a characteristic result? The jury attainted.

The Court of Appeal held that the Moloney rules, and the adjudicator’s bearing as far as those rules, were blemished and possibly deceptive.[5]This direction had been attempted by the House of Lords prior to Hancock and Shankland, indeed, only a year before, in R v Moloney.[6]In this case Moloney has asked the jury that there is any intention present in the crime or by outcome alleged to be intended. Hancock and Shankland accepted that they were guilty of manslaughter.[7]The Crown preferred murder charges, including against Anthony Williams.[8]

The jury returned guilty verdicts the same day and Mann J sentenced Hancock and Shankland to life in prison, the mandatory sentence for murder. Anthony Williams was found not guilty.[9]


Judge had directed jury to ask, was passing or genuine injury a characteristic result of what was finished?

 Did a respondent predict that outcome as a characteristic result?


Given that juries don’t give purposes behind their choices, a course is the key ground for claim thus made cautiously.[10]The House of Lord had given a direction to the case  R. vs. Shankland they gave direction to Moloney. This is the case of a stepfather and stepson. They both had started a game in drunken position. Both of them loaded a shot gun that , first whoever  will  shoot that one will win, when son was dared to pull this trigger, it is very obvious that son knew what he was doing.

In that Trial Judge  failed to  make the things clear in front of judges. Taking in mind to judges thought for the future the House of Lord had told that there will be four steps for murder, which is used by Mann J in case of Hancock and Shankland.

Hancock and Shankland both had agreed together to kill or cause brutal harm to Wilkie. There are basically two relating two steps from which it is proved presence of intention.

  1. the focusing of the escort
  2. the focusing of Williams by and by

There were  five issues also which were  mentioned by Mann J:-

  1. Onlookers
  • Photos
  • Litigants proof.
  • Vulnerability of course


In analysis of  R, vs. Shankland it is found everything depends on only one word which is “Intention”. In these cases there were two miners who were  working on a bridge and tried to push a block and they pushed the block and the block had fallen on to the taxi in which there was a driver and because of that block , the taxi driver met to death. They knew if this block will fall then it harms anyone, so the analysis is there was an intention to kill.


Hancock and Shankland is a main case in the advancement of the cutting edge law of flaw in crime. It assumed a critical part in pushing purposeful danger taking totally out of expectation, being rather occupied into wildness and somewhat, carelessness. In any case, Hancock and Shankland was an inadequate advance, as it didn’t move completely away from general references to “likelihood” nor did it choose an exact model course for juries. In Woollin, the House of Lords thought it was unhelpful not to provide a point by point guidance to a jury on aim, particularly by “deflect[ing] such inquiries by the explanation that “aim” is a normal word in the English language.” The House of Lords had obviously changed in  a long time since Hancock and Shankland, where they thought no point by point bearing fundamental, compelling Lord Lane CJ to give one only a half year later in the Court of Allure in Nedrick.

[1] Matthew Dyson, Hancock and Shank land [1986] AC 455, Other than the published law reports, reference will be made to two other sources. The National Archives at Kew contains material on the Crown Court case, in file J 299/60, with subfolders 1 and 2 currently open, but 3 closed due to its personal contents. References to this file will be made as “Kew”. The other files, for the House of Lords hearing, are held at the Parliamentary Archives, in file HL/PO/JU/4/3/1558, which will be referred to hereafter as “HL” (further copies of basic materials are also held there under HL/PO/JO/10/11/2358 case 138),

[2] Regina v Hancock and Shank land: HL 27 Feb 1985,,

[3] Hancock was on strike from Oakdale Colliery in Blackwood, Caerphilly, a few miles from where Williams was working at Merthyr Vale Colliery: Kew, 88.

[4] Matthew Dyson, Hancock and Shankland [1986] AC 455, PAPER NO. 59/2015 , DECEMBER 2015,, file:///C:/Users/HP/Downloads/SSRN-id2668133%20(1).pdf

[5] Regina v Hancock and Shankland: HL 27 Feb 1985, Cited – Regina v Moloney HL ([1985] AC 905, Bailii, [1984] UKHL 4, [1985] 1 All ER 1025, [1985] 2 WLR 648) the defendant appealed against his conviction for murder.
Held: The appeal was allowed and a conviction for manslaughter substituted.
Lord Bridge of Harwich discussed the case of Hyam: ‘But looking on their facts at the decided cases,

[6] 3 [1985] AC 905.

[7] Supra note 5

[8] They were also charged with conspiracy to damage proper property intending to endanger the life of another and conspiring to damage property being reckless as to whether the life of another would be endangered. Mann J discharged the jury from returning verdicts on these charges.

[9] Supra note 7

[10] IBID 5 Other than where the decision is manifestly unreasonable.

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