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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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If the jury accepts the defence, the judge has complete discretion in sentencing. Sentences vary from life
imprisonment to absolute discharge. However, the Sentencing Guidelines Council suggested (in Nov. '05) that 3 ­ 12
years is appropriate.

Examples of Provocation
Causes of the abnormality must be internal. Examples include:

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The reasonable man shares such of the defendant's characteristics as the jury think would affect the
gravity of the situation.
In the above case, the House of Lords gave some examples of characteristics which could affect the gravity of
the situation (provocation) where the acts were aimed at one of…

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Some (e.g. women's rights groups) have criticised these proposals as someone suffering from BWS would be
labelled a murderer.
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…


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