intoxication

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  • Intoxication
    • definition
      • intoxication include alcohol, drugs and other substances
      • whether the defendant is guilty or not depends on:
        • whether the intoxication was voluntary or involuntary
        • whether the offence charged is one of specific or basic intent
    • voluntary intoxication
      • where the D choose to take an intoxicating substance
      • can also occur when D knows that the effects of a prescribed drug will make him intoxicated
      • specific intent offences
        • if D is so intoxicated that he has not formed the mens rea for the offence, then he is not guilty
          • DPP v Beard (1920) - raised intoxication to murder charge
            • Lord Birkenhead said D must be incapable of forming mens rea necessary for offence
          • Sheehan and Moore (1975) - S and M killed tramp when very drunk and set fire to him
            • no mens rea so not convicted of murder
            • found guilty of manslaughter as that is a basic intent offence
        • where D has the necessary mens rea, despite of his intoxicated state, then he is guilty of the offence
        • drunken intent is still an intent
          • AG for northern Ireland v Gallagher (1963) - decided to kill wife, so bought knife and whisky and decide to drink some before killing her
            • conviction upheld as mens rea formed before intoxication
      • basic intent offences
        • intoxication not available for basic intent
          • intoxicated ins considered a reckless course of conduct, and recklessness is enough to constitute necessary mens rea
        • DPP v Majewski (1977) - extremely intoxicated and attacked pub, people in it and police arresting him
          • s47 and assaulting police officer in execution of duty upheld by HL as D's recklessness result of intoxication
    • involuntary intoxication
      • D does not know that they have taken an intoxicating substance
        • soft drink has been spiked
      • also covers situations where prescribed drugs have had unexpected effect making D intoxicated
      • no defence if D has the necessary mens rea at the time of the offence
        • Kingston (1994) - known pedophile, given drugged coffee by blackmailer and photographed abusing sleeping teenage boy
          • upheld convictions as had mens rea for offence
    • intoxicated mistake
      • defence exists if the mistake prevents D having mens rea for a specific intent offence
      • no defence if mistake prevents D having mens rea for basic intent offence
        • Lipman (1970) - D and gf took LSD and fell asleep. when L woke he had killed gf mistaking her for a snake
          • conviction for manslaughter upheld
          • did not have specific intention for murder as he thought he was killing a snake
      • s76(5) - CJIA 2008
        • a mistaken belief caused through voluntary intoxication cannot give rise to self-defence, defence of another or prevent of crime
        • O'Grady (1987) - O and friend drinking heavily and fell asleep. O woke to find being so so hit friend with glass ashtray. next morning friend dead
          • convicted of manslaughter as intoxication no defence to basic intent crimes
        • Hatton (2005) - D very drunk and went back to falt with man. next morning man dead with sledgehammer injuries.
          • D said remembered defending self against attack
          • CA held that drunken mistake about the amount of force required in self defence was not a defence
      • S.5 Criminal Damange Act 1971
        • creates a defence based on an honest belief that person to whom the property belonged to would have consented to the damage had they known about it
          • even whee the mistake is induced by intoxication
        • Jaggard v Dickinson (1980) - drunk and went to friend's house but out so D broke window to enter believing friend would consent to it. D broke into wrong house
          • conviction quashed by DC QBD based on s5 CDA 1971

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