Fatal Offences

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Special Defences to Murder

Diminished Responsibility- Where the defendant is suffering from an abnmornality of mind which substantially impaired his or her responsibilty for the killing

-> Homicide Act 1957, Section 2

Important factors of definition:

  • the defendant is suffering from an abnormality of mind;
  • that abnormality must be caused by arrested or retarded development of mind or an inherent cause or disease or injury;                                                             
  • the abnormality of mind must be substantially impair the defendants metal responsibiity for the killing                               

Case Examples: R v Tandy (1988)

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Special Defences to Murder

Provocation: where the defendant suffers a sudden loss of control due to provocation

-> Homicide Act 1957, section 3

Provocation covers many different situations including:

  • Physical assualts, both on the defendant or on his relatives
  • the continual crying of a young baby
  • supplying drugs to the defendants son
  • racist remarks

Case examples: R v Thornton (1995) , DPP v Camplin (1978)

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