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.
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.
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).