loss of control

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  • Loss of Control
    • Voluntary manslaughter is where the defendant has committed murder but raises a special defence which justifies a lower sentence
    • Defendant will be liable for murder if their acts or omissions from the killing resulted from a loss of control, the loss of control has a qualifying trigger, and a person of the same sex and age with a normal degree of tolerance & self restraint would of reacted in the same way as the defendant in this circumstance
    • Loss of control replaces the former defence of provocation found under the Homicide Act 1957, the law is now set in S54 of the Coroners & Justice Act 2009
    • 1. Loss of Control
      • Under the old law on provocation the loss of control had to be sudden (Ahluwalia) but there is no such requirement under the new legislation
    • Qualifying Trigger
      • There must be a qualifying trigger set out in S55 of the Coroners & Justice Act 2009
      • There are two types of qualifying triggers
        • Fear of Violence
          • Fear of violence was not a sufficient reason for loss of control under  the former defence of provocation (Martin)
          • Defendant  does not have to fear serious violence from the victim, it just can't be a general fear, it has to be from an identified person
        • Things Said/Things Done
          • This section applies if the victim assigned to a things said/done which
            • Constituted characteristics of an ex- tremerally grave character
            • caused the defendant to have a justifiable sense of being seriously wronged
              • Doughty
              • Zebedee
    • Excluded Matters
      • Sexual Infidelity can never be a qualifying factor
      • Under the old law on provocation, sexual infidelity was allowed but the government said it allowed a defence for jealous men who killed their wives because they were having an affair
        • Clinton
      • Revenge
        • Revenge  is not allowed if defendant acted in a considered desire for revenge
          • Under the law on provocation there has to be a sudden loss of control, if defendant has time to consider revenge, the defence is unavailable
          • Ibrahams & Gregory
    • Standard of Self Control
      • The third stage of the test is standard of self control. A person of the same sex and age with a normal degree of tolerance in the circumstances would of reacted in the same way
        • Case Example to support this is Caplin
      • Only sex and age are takin into account, when deciding whether a normal person would have reacted in the same or in a similar way (Gregson)


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