Flashcards in Voluntary Manslaughter - Loss of control Deck (20):
Where is loss of control defined under
S54 Coroners and Justice Act 200-
What does S54 provide about loss of control
Where D kills or is party to killing V, D i snot to be convicted if
- D's act and omission in doing or being party to the killing resulted from D's loss of control
- The loss of control had a qualifying trigger
- A person of D's sex and age with a normal degree of tolerance and self-restraint and in the circumstances of D, might have reacted in the same or in a similar way to D.
What are the three elements of loss of control
1 - D lost self-control (subjective test)
2 - Loss of control was caused by a 'Qualifying Trigger'
3 - A normal person would react in the same way (objective test with subjective elements)
First element is - D lost his self-control causing him to kill. Explain
it is a subjective test and a question of fact = did D actually loose control.
S54 (1) - loss of self-control can come from an act or omission
S54 (2) - the loss of control need not be sudden.
S54 (4) specifically excludes situations where D has acted 'in a considered desire for revenge'
What about the time deal for D losing his self-control causing him to kill
The length of the time between what triggers the killing and killing itself will be important but need not be short. Although loss of control need no longer be sudden, the longer the delay the more likely a court will consider that D to have acted in revenge.
What happened in Ahluwalia
D set abusive husband on fire whilst he was asleep. He had threated to beat her the next day if she did not pay the bill.
What happened in R v Dawes
D found V asleep with D's estranged wife. D hit and punched V with a bottle, D claimed that V attacked him and that is why he fatally stabbed V.
CA said - provided that there was a loss of control, it does not matter whether it was sudden or not, a reaction may be delayed.
However, in Dawes there was no evidence that D ever lost his self-control. 'His own evidence was that he had not killed the V in a rage. He was shocked rather than angry'
Element two - loss of control was caused by a qualifying trigger - explain
Trigger 1 - S55 (3)
- D feared a serious violence from V to D or another identified person.
Trigger 2 - S55 (4)
- Things have been said or done which amount to circumstances of an extremely grave (serious) character and caused D to have a justifiable sense of being seriously wronged.
COMBINATION - S55(5)
- loss of control may also result from a combination of both triggers.
Explain Trigger 1 (S55(3))
FEAR OF VIOLENCE
- where D anticipates violence but cannot use self-defense because there was no immediate threat.
- where D has used excessive force in self-defence, although D must still be suffering a loss of control
- it is a subjective test so D must show that they genuinely (no need to be necessary) feared violence.
Explain Trigger 2 (s55(4))
SOMETHING SAID OR DONE WHICH IS OF AN 'EXTREMELY GRAVE CHARACTER' AND CAUSED D TO HAVE A 'JUSTIFIABLE SENSE OF BEING SERIOUSLY WRONGED' - also known as the anger trigger
It is where V taunts D
- Behaviour must be 'extremely grave'
- It must give D a 'justifiable sense of being seriously wrong'
- it is an objective test and for the jury to decide.
- judge can exclude claims that have no merit e.g Doughty, D claimed baby provoked him to kill (because of their crying)
What happened in Zebedee
D killed 94 year old father with Alzheimers who had soiled himself. D claimed he was made angry by father, D was not able to show extremely grave character or that he had a justifiable sense of being seriously wronged by his father's condition so no defence for D.
What is excluded as a qualifying trigger?
Sexual infidelity, self-induced triggers (D started the fight or D taunted V first) and Revenge.
What case is an allowed to use sexual infidelity
V told husband (D), that she was having an affair and taunted him saying that she slept with many men and gave graphic detail. She also 'sniggered' after discovering he had been looking a suicide websites, adding a comment saying that it would have been easier if he did commit suicide. D then attacked V with lump of wood and strangled her.
CA SAID although loss of control triggered by sexual infidelity cannot 'on its own' qualify as a trigger, it would be wrong to 'exclude it' where sexual infidelity forms an essential part of another possible justifiable trigger. - in this case V taunting D.
Information about self-induced trigger
D cannot rely on the fear or anger trigger if D incited the violence or things said in order to have an 'excuse to use violence himself'
JOHNSON - D started fight or D taunted V first, D cannot rely on loss of control defence if the trigger was self-induced
Element three - normal person would react the same way - explain
- of D's sex and age
- with a normal degree of tolerance and self-restraint
- in the circumstances of D
- "the normal person" might have reacted the same/similar way of D.
'Of D's sex and age'
D was sexually abused and laughed at by V. HL decided to taking account to D's age so the jury would have to decide if a normal 15 year old would have reacted the same way.
'With a normal degree of tolerance and self-restraint'
Excludes anything which affects D's ability to exercise self-control apart from sex and age.
-prejudice such as racism or homophobia
- factors such as alcoholism
'In the circumstances of D'
This allows the jury to take circumstances of D into account in deciding whether a normal person might react in the same/similar way to D in those circumstances
GREGSON - D was unemployed, suffered depression and epilepsy, V taunted him about it and D killed V. D's background could all be taken into account if deciding the provocation of D.
What happened in Amelash
D and V were friends, they got drunk in a house. D said V was physically abusive and threatening making D so angry he lost control and killed V. D claimed drink was one of his circumstances for jury. But D being drunk was not one of his 'circumstances' the jury had to consider