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Loss of Control

1.Loss of self control- D had lost self control when doing the acts which caused the death. The loss of self control does not have to be sudden- Ahluwalia: D, subjected to 10 years of spousal violence and degradation, threw petrol in her husband's bedroom and set it alight, causing his death.

2. Qualifying trigger: has to be a qualifying trigger for the loss of control to come within the defence. 

  • D's fear of serious violence from V against D or another identified person
  • A thing / things said / done or both which: (a) constituted circumstances of an extremely grave character and (b) causedD to have a justifiable sense of being seriously wronged.

3. Excluded Matters: sexual infidelity can never be a qualifying trigger. Also if D acted un a 'considered desire for revenge'. Ibrams v Gregory

4.Standard of self control: relied on reasonable person, 'a person of D's sex and age with a normal degree of tolerance & self restraint and in the circumstances of D might have acted in the same / similar way.

Partial defence to a charge of murder. If it is successful, D will be found guilty of manslaughter instead of murder. Allows the judge discretion in sentencing. 

Circumstances of D; whether a normal person might have acrted in the same way. Lord Diplock: reasonable man is a person having the power of self control to be expected by an ordinary person of the sex & age of D and thinking characteristics would affect the gravity of the provocation to him'

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Diminished Responsibility

D is suffering a abnormality of mental functioning: a state of mind so diffeent from that of ordinary human beings that the reasonable man would term it abnornmal (Byrne)

Which is caused by a recognised medical condition: a question of degree for the jury to decide. Lloyd- sunstantial does not mean total/ trivial or minimal but something in between. the cause of the abnormality of mental functioning must arise from a 'recognised medical condition'. this is wide enough to cover both psychological and physical conditions. including; epilepsy, sleep disorder, diabetes.

Which substantially impaired: (a) ability to understand the nature of his conduct, Such as D is in a automatic state and does not know what he is doing.D suffers from delusions and believes for example that he s killing a person. so does not understand the nature of what he is doing. (b) ability to form a rational judgement. Suffering from paranoia, or sonizophrenia may not be able to form a rational judgement.(c) ability to exercise self control. Can D control his prevented desires?

Which provides an explanation for D's conduct: A casual connection is needed between the abnormality of mental funtioning and the killing, The abnormality of mental functioning need not be the only factor in causing D to kill but it must  be a 'significant contribution'

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The AR: unlawful killing of a human being against the Queens peace. Causation eeds to be proved. the mens rea for murder is intention to kill or cause serious harm (DPP v Smith). Direct intent- main aim or purpose (Mohan) Indirect intent- if the forbidden consequence was not the deisre of D he still may be liable. Woolin: a person is said to intend their action 'if D realised death/serious harm was virtually certain & knew it. 

Constructive Manslaughter: 1. D's conduct must be unlawful- R v Lamb:D and a friend V were playing with a revolver. In the chamber there were two bullets, but neither was opposite the hammer when D, in jest, pointed the gun at V and pulled the trigger. The chamber rotated and V was killed. since V shared in the joke and did not feel threatened (since both believed the gun to be safe) there was no assault and hence no unlawful act to support D's conviction for manslaughter. 

 2. Act- Positive Act: R v Lowe: D, of low intelligence, failed to call a doctor when his nine-week-old child became ill, but claimed to have told his wife to do so, she did not do so and the child died 10 days later. 

3. Dangerous: DPP v Newbury & Jones 1976- Two 15 yr old children threw a paving slab over a bridge the train driver was killed. Lord Salmon; the test is NOT did the accused recognise it was dangerous but would all sober and reasonable people recognise its danger.

4. Must cause death: R v Goodfellow- D set fire to his house to get re-housed, fire got out of controlkilling wife child and another women. even though his actions were not directed at them he was still liable.

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Gross Negligence

1. Owe a duty of care to V. Donoghue v Stevenson

2. D must breach that duty by conduct that falls below what would be expected from a reasonable person. Blythe v Birmingham Waterworks

This is a objective test and it is no defence that the D is doing their incompetent best. Nettleship v Weston

3. Breach must cause damage (death)

5. the negligence of the accused went beyond a mere matter of compensation

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