Loss of Control

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  • Created by: rachel
  • Created on: 11-06-14 17:25

Loss of Control

Replaces the old law of provocation. Found in S45 and S55 of the Coroners and Justice Act.

S54- (1) D kills/is party to the killing of another, D is not to be convicted of murder if:

(a). D's acts/omissions in doing/being party to the killing resulted from a loss of control

(b). The loss of control came from a qualifying trigger and

(c). A person of D's sex and age, with a normal level of tolerance/self-restraint, and in the circumstances of D, might have reacted in the same/similar way to D.

There must be a loss of self-control, not just succumbing to a request- Cocker. Duffy- 'not for the moment master of their own mind'.

The loss of control does not have to be sudden-S54(2)- Ahluwalia, although the longer the delay, the stronger the prosecution may argue that L.O.C cannot be used as a defence. Thornton- waited until her husband was asleep.

S54(4)- defence not allowed if acting through a 'considered desire for revenge'- Ibrams and Gregory.

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Loss of Control 2

The qualifying triggers- S55- must come from D's fear of serious violence, or things said and done which are of extremely grave character, and caused D to have a justifiable sense of being seriously wronged.

Fear- Pearson- feared violence from his father onto his brother.

Used to be just things said or done- Doughty. This was changed to avoid unworthy cases using the defence.

Excluded triggers: S55(6)(a)- if things said or done constitute sexual infidelity, these must be disregarded (would have been allowed under the old law)- Clinton- other factors eg. depression, unhappy marriage allowed the sexual infidelity to be taken into consideration.

S55(6)(b)-Also includes situations where D has incited the fear of violence or the thing said or done must be disregarded.

Would a normal person of D's sex and age have reacted in the same way?

Holley- intoxication told to be ignored- this coulod be used to justify actions.

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Loss of Control 3

Mohammed- religious beliefs not allowed.

Thornton- BWS relevant to look at history- increased fear trigger.

Gregson- all elements of his epilepsy, loss of job and depression links to anger trigger.

Baillie- LOC can be sustained over a period of time (not previously allowed under Provocation).

Circumstances whose only relevance to D's conduct is that they bear on a general capacity for tolerance/self-restraint are excluded- S54(3).

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