Voluntary Manslaughter (Diminished Responsibility)

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  • Created by: bananaaar
  • Created on: 21-04-15 16:23
Where is the law on DR set out?
Section 2 Homicide Act 1957 as amended by Section 2 Coroners and Justice Act 2009
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Definition of DR?
Not to be convicted of murder if he was suffering from an abnormality of the mind which: 1) arose from a recognised medical condition 2) substantially impaired Ds ability to understand nature and conduct or form rational judgement or exercise control
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Definition of DR continued?
Provided an explanation for D's acts and omissions in doing or being party to the killing.
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Causes of an abnormality of mental functioning?
Recognised medical condition - also covers physical conditions. Must be supporting medical evidence [Byrne] [Dowds]
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[Byrne]
D was a sexual psychopath who strangled and mutilated young women. CA substituted verdict of manslaughter as medical evidence said that D could not control his perverted desires.
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[Dowds]
D and girlfriend were binge drinkers with a violent relationship. They drank 2 litres of vodka and D stabbed her 60 times. D argued voluntary acute intoxication but D was not alcoholic. CA dismissed appeal as vol into doesn't give rise to medical
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[Dowds] CA ruling
CA dismissed appeal as voluntary intoxication doesn't give rise to a recognised medical condition.
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What is substantially impaired?
Must relate to Ds ability to understand the nature of their conduct, it could cover automatic states, delusions and a state of low mental age where there is no awareness due to severe learning difficulties [Deitschman]
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[Deitschman]
D killed a man who was disrespectful to memory of his aunt who had recently died. D suffering from grief-induced adjustment disorder but was also drunk. HL held needed to prove was substantial impairment induced by abnormality of mind without intox.
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Adjustment Disorder?
[Deitschman]
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Alcohol dependency syndrome?
[Wood] [Stewart]
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Battered women
[Hobson] [Ahluwalia]
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Depression and anxiety
[Seers] [Gittens]
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Physical conditions?
[Campbell]
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Paranoia?
[Simcox]
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Pre-menstrual tension
[Reynolds]
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Sexual psychopathy?
[Byrne]
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[Wood]
Wood suffered from alcohol dependency syndrome but the trial judge told the jury that DR was only open to them if Ds consumption of alcohol was truly involuntary. Simply giving into a craving was not involuntary drinking.
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[Stewart]
Whether the D had the power to resist the impulse was whether or not the drinking was voluntary. Not all of Ds drinking had to be involuntary.
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[Seers]
D stabbed V and claimed DR on the grounds of reactive depression. Held that the abnormality of the mind can cover shock or depression especially in cases of mercy killings and pre-menstrual syndrome.
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[Gittens]
D was suffering from depression and had taken pills and alcohol, killed wife and daughter. CA allowed appeal and said that depression alone may have amounted to abnormality, but intoxication should be disregarded.
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[Campbell]
When D was refused sexual advances by a female hitchhiker, he killed her. He had frontal lobe damage and epilepsy. the CA ordered a retrial due to the trial medical evidence not being sufficient.
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[Simcox]
Any impairment only becomes substantial if it is significant, beyond something trivial or minimal.
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[Reynolds]
Pre-menstrual tension is included.
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Three step test established in [Stewart]
Was D suffering from abnormality of mind? Was the abnormality caused by the disease/illness? Was Ds mental capacity substanially impaired. This would involve consideration of an inability to resist drink.
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[Hobson]
The D stabbed and killed her abusive partner. At the time of her trial BWS was not a recognised medical condition. However for appeal it was thus she was allowed a retrial.
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[Golds]
Established that there is no requirement for the trial to give direction as to meaning of 'substantial'. If they ask for further help they should be directed to the meaning in [Simcox].
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Substantial? Where is it set out?
For jury to decide what it means.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

Definition of DR?

Back

Not to be convicted of murder if he was suffering from an abnormality of the mind which: 1) arose from a recognised medical condition 2) substantially impaired Ds ability to understand nature and conduct or form rational judgement or exercise control

Card 3

Front

Definition of DR continued?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

Causes of an abnormality of mental functioning?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

[Byrne]

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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