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  • Created on: 12-11-11 17:17
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Murder is the unlawful killing of a human being under the
Queen's peace with the required malice aforethought.
Defendant can only be liable for victims Defendant must demonstrate the
death were their acts are both the factual required malice aforethought ­ the
and legal cause of death; intention to kill or cause really serious
harm. Intention has two types;
· `But for' test as in the case of Pagett.
(Boyfriend used her as human shield) · Must have intended to kill or cause
grievous bodily harm
· Defendants actions must be the operative
and significant cause of death as in the · Did not desire the outcome but in acting
case of Smith. It is unlikely negligent as they did, realised it might occur as in
medical treatment would break the chain of Maloney (intention and nothing less.)
causation as in Cheshire.
· Nedrick was death or serious injury a
· An intervening act that is reasonably virtual certainty as a result of defendants
foreseeable will not break the chain of actions? Did the defendant foresee this
causation such as Blaue ­ (Jehovah's as in Woolin? If yes, the jury can infer
witness, thin skull test) or where it did break intent.
the chain of causation as in Williams ­
(Daftness test, jumped out of moving car)

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Diminished responsibility
Diminished responsibility is governed by S2 Homicide Act 1957. There are 4 ingredients;
1. Defendant must be suffering from an abnormality of mind as in the case of Byrne ­
`the state of mind is so different from that of the ordinary human being, that the
reasonable man would term it abnormal.
2. What was caused by;
- A disease or injury
- Any inherent cause
- A condition of arrested or retarded development of mind
Inherent causes refers to the external factors.…read more

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Provocation is governed in S3 of the Homicide Act 1957
· Defendant must have been provoked by things done/said into losing his self control.
Loss of control must be sudden and temporary and defendant must not have had
time to cool off as in Ibrams and Gregory
· Baille established all these issues are left for the jury to decide.…read more

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Insanity `not guilty by reason of insanity'
When the defence of insanity is successful a special verdict will be given `not
guilty by reason of insanity'
Rules of insanity were laid down in M'Naghten.
1. Everyone is presumed sane, unless at the time of the crime they were suffering from,
2. A defect of reason caused by,
3. A disease of the mind so that the defendant didn't know,
4.…read more

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Not voluntarily in control of bodily
movements caused by an external factor
Quick ­ took his insulin and ate little afterwards. His state was caused externally be
his insulin and not his diabetes which was internal. He was granted the defence of
The defendant must show medical evidence.
In Bratty Lord Denning gave the defence two meanings;
1.…read more

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Not capable of forming the mens rea
due to being too drunk/drugged.
Set out in the Majewsti Rules;
1. Defendant is so intoxicated that he cannot form the mens rea for the offence.
Kingston ­ "an intoxicated intent is still an intent"
2.…read more

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Defendant does NOT intend to kill or cause serious harm.
· Defendant must have committed a criminal act
· This act must be dangerous as shown in the Church test.…read more

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· Did the defendant owe the victim a duty of care? Adomako ­ " Ordinary principles of
the law of negligence apply"
· The defendant must breach his duty of care. He must fall below the standard of
care for that of the reasonable man.
· Did the breach cause the death? Causation ­ factual and legal.…read more


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