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Diminished responsibility
· Diminished responsibility comes under the
Homicide Act 1957 as a amended by the
Coroners and Justice Act 2009:
­ D suffers from an abnormality of the mind that:
(a) Arose from a recognised medical condition
(b) Substantially impairs D's ability to
­ understand the nature/conduct of his act
­ prevents D from forming a rational judgement
­ prevents D from exercising self-control
(c) Explains D's act/omission…read more

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The burden of prove is on the defendant
· Byrne (1960) defined what `abnormality of
mental functioning' covered:
1.Perception of physical act
2.Ability to form rational judgement
3.Ability to exercise will power to control physical
acts
This test shows that D's mental functioning must be
so different from what the ordinary man would
term as normal…read more

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Examples of `recognised medical
conditions'
· Depression
· Paranoia
· Battered wife syndrome
· Epilepsy
· Diabetes, etc…read more

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Substantially impaired
· Whether the defendant's impairment was
substantial is a matter left to the jury to
decide
· Lloyd (1967) held that substantial does not
mean trivial or totally; it is in between.…read more

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Diminished responsibility and
intoxication
Intoxication alone cannot support a defence of
diminished responsibility
Di Duca (1959) = a transient state of intoxication is not an
abnormality of mental functioning
Intoxication and pre-existing abnormality of the mind:
Gittens (1984) the jury have to decide whether the
combination of factors excluding intoxication
amounted to substantial impairment
Dietschmann (2003) if the D satisfied the jury that,
notwithstanding the alcohol and its effects, his
abnormality of mind substantially impaired his mental
responsibility, then D should not be found guilty…read more

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