Recent developments 2011 2650010 Criminal law
Current edition of the subject guide
The current edition of the subject guide was published in 2010.
The following developments should be noted
Chapter 7: Unlawful homicide: murder and manslaughter
Rickie Joseph Mount v The Queen  EWCA Crim 2974 The appellant was concerned about the development of a relationship between the deceased and his (the appellant’s) ex-girlfriend, with whom he had hoped to be reconciled. Having spent the evening drinking with friends and, through one of them, arranged a meeting with the deceased, the appellant went home and armed himself with a knife from the kitchen drawer to, he said, scare off anyone who ‘jumped’ (attacked) him. When the deceased and the appellant met, there was an argumentative three-way telephone conversation between them and the appellant’s ex-girlfriend (the deceased’s current girlfriend). A short while later, there was a fight – initiated by the deceased. The appellant got out a knife, chased the deceased and struck him with the knife, penetrating his pericardium. As this did not result in his immediate unconsciousness or death nobody realised as he started to walk home, that he was mortally wounded. He later died. The pathologist gave evidence that it would have taken between two and 10 minutes for the victim to have fallen unconscious. The appellant was charged and convicted of murder. He appealed on a number of grounds, one of which was that the judge’s direction to the jury on manslaughter – as an alternative to murder if they did not consider it to have been proved beyond reasonable doubt that the appellant had intended to kill the victim or to cause him grievous bodily harm – would have led the jury to convict of murder. The Court of Appeal held that it did not and upheld the conviction. This case will be further considered in a forthcoming newsletter.
Chapter 8: Voluntary manslaughter – the defences of loss of control and diminished responsibility On the 4 October 2010 sections 52, 54, 55 and 56 of the Coroners and Justice 2009 came into effect. These sections made changes to the partial defences to murder on the Criminal law syllabus. Section 52 changed the definition of the partial defence to murder of diminished responsibility. Sections 54 and 55 introduced a new partial defence to
2650010 Criminal law
murder of loss of control. This replaced the partial defence of provocation, which was repealed by section 56 of the Act. These changes are discussed in chapter 8 of your subject guide and in audio presentation 8. They are also reflected in the computer marked assessments. In addition, you should look at the Smith and Hogan update. You will find the details on the VLE or, alternatively, you can email Oxford University Press at firstname.lastname@example.org putting ‘Smith and Hogan 12e: notify me!’ in the subject line of your email. They will then send you email alerts whenever any updates to the textbook are published. Up until the 15 February 2011 there have been no appeals relating to these provisions.
Chapter 12: Defences 1: Failure of proof and justificatory defences 12.2 Justificatory defences Self-defence R v Daniel Keane and R v Katherine Rosa McGrath  EWCA Crim 2514
This case concerned two appeals heard together, both of which raised questions which related to trial judges’ summings up where the defence of self-defence was in issue. Keane had appealed against his conviction for inflicting grievous bodily harm contrary to section 20 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861 following an altercation outside a petrol station and McGrath had appealed against her conviction for the manslaughter of her boyfriend, having stabbed him during an argument. The Court of Appeal decision in this case is discussed in the February 2011 newsletter which you can access on the VLE.
R v Burns (Paul)  EWCA Crim 1023 The appellant had driven a...