Voluntary Manslaughter

Any errors/changes be they legal or typographical - let me know and I will rectify them ASAP.

My apologies - the provocation information will be out of date now as the 12 month rule for new legislation will have expired for new A2 students.  When I come to revising my Criminal Law module at Easter for my degree I will endeavor to update to Loss of Control.

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Voluntary Manslaughter
Voluntary manslaughter is where the defendant had the intention to kill the victim. The defendant is charged with
murder ­ as (s)he has the actus reus and mens rea for murder, but raises a special defence which reduces the charge to
that of manslaughter under the Homicide Act…

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Causes of the Abnormality

Causes of the abnormality must be internal. Examples include:

Psychopathy ­ Byrne (1960)
D was a sadistic sexual psychopath who dismembered his victims after raping them.
The `abnormality of mind' may cover...
Paranoia ­ Martin (Anthony Edward) (2003)
D shot two intruders who entered his house…

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Alcohol Dependency Syndrome (ADS) can be an abnormality of mind as the jury must consider the effects of involuntary

Wood (2008)
D, after drinking heavily, went to V's flat. They fell to sleep and D claimed to have awoken to V trying to
perform oral sex on him. D…

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"There is evidence on which the jury can find that the person charged was provoked (by things said or done or both)
to lose his self control and that a reasonable man might have acted in a similar way."

s. 3(1), The Homicide Act 1957

The defence must raise…

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Time Lapse

Ibrams & Gregory (1981)
D and his girlfriend made plans to kill her ex-boyfriend because he had been terrorising them. They spent
5 days planning before killing him.
The longer the time lapse between the provocation and the killing, the less likely that the defence will succeed.


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Morhall (1995)
D, after several lengthy sessions of glue sniffing, stabbed and killed his friend.
The jury could be directed to take into account the entire factual situation and the fact that D's characteristics
may be discreditable did not exclude it from consideration. D's glue sniffing was therefore taken into…

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The Law Commission though that the label would be appropriate as the person would have the mens rea for
murder ­ as there is intention.
Judges would be given the option to withdraw the defence from the jury when the provocation was trivial.
The defence would be extended to those…


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