Law 03: Defences

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Voluntary Manslaughter: Loss of Contol

 Defences: Loss of control.           Section 55 coroners and Justice Act 2009.

Used as a defence for Murder only.

  • Did the defendant suffer a Loss Of Control - No need to be sudden (Ibrams and Gregory)
  • If So was there a qualifying Trigger of fear or anger?

    IF FEAR - Did Def fear serious violence toward themself of another identified person.
    IF ANGER - Was the anger due to something said or done which was of an exteremly grave character. & Did it cause the Def to have a justifiable sense of being wronged.

  • If so  Would a person of the defendants sex and age, with a normal degree of tolerance and self restraint, have reacted in the same or a similar way ( Doesnt include quick temper etc)
  • There May be exceptions - Cant use sexual infidelity as an excuse, Can use taunts (Hollie). However can use sexual infidelity in certain circumstances (Clinton)
    - Cant Claim loss of control if there was considered desire for revenge (Bailie)
    - Cant claim loss of control if you brought it upon yourself/ Self induced
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Voluntary Manslaugher: Diminished Responsibility

Defences: Diminished Responsibility        Section 52 CJA, Section 2 Homicide Act.
Used as a defence for Murder - to reduce to voluntary manslaughter.

  • Was The defendant suffering from An Abnormality Of Mental Functioning (Byrne)
    - Arising from a Specified,recognised medical condition  E.g. Chronic Depression(Seers),  PMT(English),   Post Natal Depression(Reynolds), Brain Injury(Luc Thiet Thuan).  Docs Evidence.
  • If so..... did this condition Substantially Impair his ability to:       
    - Understand the nature of his conduct
    -Form a rational Judgement
    - Exercise self control.               * Substantial is not total(Egan). Just more than trivial(Gittens)
  • Does the abnormality provide an explanation for the conduct shown - causal link.
  • If so The defendant can use the defence and will be charged with Vol manslaughter not Murder.
    - If intoxicated the jury must ignore the effect of the alcohol or drugs and just take the abnormality of mind into account (Dietschmann)
    - Alcohol dependancy syndrome is a recognised medical condition, so you must consider whether the drinking was voluntary or involuntary (Wood)
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Defences : Consent

  • Defences- Consent   
    The General rule is that you can't consent to anything above Assault & Battery -Wilson V Pringle
  • If you Do give consent, the consent must be genuine and you mujst understand the nature of it.

Key Cases and Principles

- Burrel v Hamer - You have to know understand the nature of the act you are consenting to.
- R v Tabassum -  Consent cannot be obtained by fraud.

You CAN Consent to :
- Injuries through Horseplay (Jones)              - Injuries through sport (Barnes)
- Vigourous sexual activity (Slingsby)             - Branding and tattooing (Wilson)

You CAN'T Consent to:
-Sadomasoehistic acts (Brown)                  - Murder
- Euphenasia                                               -Bare Knuckle fighting
- off the ball incidents in sports.
** You must consider if they withdraw consent at any time, as then the defence fails. Also that what is happening is what they have consented to at the time.

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Defences: Intoxication

Defences:  Intoxication 
Intoxication can be through drink or drugs and can be voluntary or involuntary.

Voluntary Intoxication:
If a person is intoxicated by voluntary means, you must consider whether they have commited a specific or basic intent crime.

-Basic Crimes - Any offence where MR is intent or recklessness - Abh, GBH s.20, Assault, Battery.
 If you are voluntarily intoxicated and commit a basic intent crime you are GUILTY.  (Majewski)

-Specific Crimes - MR is INTENT only, not recklessness. This includes crimes such as s.18 GBH and Murder.
- If You can form MR you are GUILTY. (Majewski)         
-  If you cannot form MR the offence is reduced,but you are not aquitted. (Lipman)

Involuntary Intoxication: - this may include spiked drinks or prescription drugs etc.
- If you have MR of crime you are still guilty ( Kingston)
- If you do not form MR of the crime you are not guilty.
Other key cases   - Can get drunk for dutch courage ( gallagher)   Allen (not being aware of own limits is not an exucse).   If D has unexpected reaction to prescription drugs - not guilty (Hardie)

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Defences: Self Defence

Defences: Self Defence                                Criminal Justice and Immigration act 2008.
This is a complete defence to all crimes.
You Can defent yourself, another, property, or in order to prevent a crime.

  • The force used must be necessary and reasonable (Martin -cannot use excessive force)
  • If you make a genuine and honest mistake ( e.g. attacking wrong person), you can use this defence (Gladstone Williams)
  • There is no duty to retreat. You can still claim self defence if you had an oppertunity to leave, but didnt do do ( R v Bird)
  • You cannot use the defence if you make a mistake whilst  intoxicated (O'grady)
  • The defendant is allowed a degree of panic - in the circumstances the defendant may not weigh to a nicety the exact amount of defencive action he needs to take (Palmer).
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Defences: Insanity

Defences: Insanity    
Everyone is assumed to be legally sane. to use this defence you must prove otherwise.
Def must be 'Insane on the balance of probabilities', and if sucessfull they will be found not guilty by reason of insanity.

  • Defined by the M'Naughten Rules 3 Requirements
    1) Must suffer a defect of reasoning
    2) That is caused by a disease of the mind
    3) that causes they not to know the nature or quality of the act, or that it is legally wrong.

Defect of reason:

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