A2 Law: Cases - Defence of Insanity

Jessica 'JessieB
Flashcards by Jessica 'JessieB, updated more than 1 year ago
Jessica 'JessieB
Created by Jessica 'JessieB almost 6 years ago
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A Levels Law A2 (Cases) Flashcards on A2 Law: Cases - Defence of Insanity , created by Jessica 'JessieB on 04/22/2014.

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Question Answer
Case Facts Original rules on Insanity - M'Naughten (1843) Attempted to murder the PM, but killed secretary instead. Acquitted on the grounds of insanity. The HOL asked to clarify the rules.
Case Outcome M'Naughten (1843) At the time of the offence, the defendant must have been suffering from: a defect of reason, caused by a disease of the mind so that either the defendant didn't know what he was doing or, if he did know, he didn't know that what he was doing was wrong.
Case Facts A defect of Reason - Clarke (1972) The defendant was charged with theft but claimed she had been acting absentmindedly because she was suffering from diabetes and depression.
Case Outcome Clarke 1972 The judge ruled insanity but to avoid an insanity finding, the defendant pleaded guilty. Her conviction was quashed on appeal as she failed to use her reasoning powers which didn't fulfill the MR for theft.
Case Facts A defect of reason must be caused by a disease of the mind - Kemp (1957) The defendant was suffering from arteriosclerosis which caused him to have blackouts. He attacked his wife with a hammer during one of these blackout, causing her serious harm.
Case Outcome Kemp (1957) Convicted of s20 GBH but found not guilty by reason of insanity. On appeal, the courts said that the law is concerned with the mind; not the brain. The case developed two theories: 1) The continuing Act Theory and 2) The internal/external cause factors
Case Facts The Continuing Danger Theory - Bratty v A-G for Northern Ireland (1963) The defendant strangled the victim with her stocking during an epileptic seizure.
Case Outcome Bratty v A-G for Northern Ireland (1963) The defendant's conviction was upheld and Lord Denning gave an interpretation as to what a disease of the mind is: " any mental disorder which has manifested itself in violence and is prone to recur is a disease of the mind." = Needed to protect the public from dangerous and violent individuals.
Case Facts The Continuing Danger Theory - Sullivan 1984 The defendant kicked and injured a friend during an epileptic fit. Medical evidence says that he wouldn't of known he was kicking anyone during his fit.
Case Outcome Sullivan 1984 The defendant pleaded automatism but the judge said insanity was more appropriate; the COA agreed with the trial judge. Epilepsy was a disease of the mind as a seizure can mentally impair the defendant, thus causing a defect of the mind.
Case Facts The External Cause Theory - Quick 1973 The defendant had a hypoglycaemic attack by not eating enough after taking insulin. He caused GBH on the victim but claimed he couldn't remember anything due to the attack.
Case Outcome Quick 1973 The judge said insanity was the correct plea - not automatism. Quick then pleaded guilty and appealed. The COA quashed this conviction as the offence wasn't caused by the diabetes but by the insulin and its misuse. An external factor meant that the jury should have been allowed to consider automatism.
Case Facts The Internal Cause Theory - Hennessy (1989) The defendant was diabetic and charged with taking and driving a vehicle whilst disqualified. He said that it was because he hadn't taken his insulin for three days due to suffering from stress, depression and hyperglycemia.
Case Outcome Hennessy (1989) The judges ruled the proper defence was insanity. The defendant then pleaded guilty and appealed, but his appeal was rejected as by not taking the insulin, his automatic state was the insulin which is an internal cause and so the correct ruling was insanity.
Case Facts Sleepwalking - Burgess (1991) The defendant hit his friend with a bottle, video recorder and grasped her round the throat after falling asleep.
Case Outcome Burgess (1991) The defendant was charged with unlawful wounding and he pleaded automatism. Judge said insanity more suitable and gave the special verdict as sleepwalking is an internal factor and therefore was ' a disease of the mind'.
Case Facts The Nature and Quality of the Act - Codere (1916) Held to mean the physical nature of the act, rather than the moral.
Case Facts Knowledge that the act was wrong - Windle (1952) The defendant overdosed his suicidal wife with 100 asprins. When arrested, he said "I suppose they'll hang me for this." Despite medical evidence proving he had a mental illness, he knew his actions were wrong.
Case Outcome Windle (1952) His murder conviction was upheld and his insanity plea rejected.
Case Facts Knowledge that the act was wrong - Johnson 2007 The defendant was a schizophrenic who stabbed his neighbour. Medical evidence showed he knew that what he had done was legally wrong.
Case Outcome Johnson 2007 COA confirmed Windle and held that the defence of insanity wasn't available to him.
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