MANSLAUGHTER

[2018] EWCA Crim 595
[2018] EWCA Crim 595
CA (Crim Div) (Hallett LJ, Treacy LJ, Sir Wyn Williams)
27 March 2018

The court summarised the general principles to be considered by those representing and those sentencing offenders with mental health problems that might justify a hospital order under the Mental Health Act 1983 s.37 and s.41, a finding of dangerousness and/or a s.45A order.

[2018] EWCA Crim 249
[2018] EWCA Crim 249
CA (Crim Div) (Gross LJ, Sweeney J, Judge Burbidge QC)
16 February 2018

A sentence of 11 years and 10 months’ imprisonment imposed in 2016 following a guilty plea to a manslaughter offence committed in 2008 was not manifestly excessive. Although sentences for manslaughter offences such as the instant offender’s which involved a knife and gang violence had substantially increased since 2008, there was no untoward effect where the sentencing judge had approached her task in a measured and reflective manner and had correctly applied the current guidelines while staying within the maximum sentence applicable in 2008.

[2017] EWCA Crim 1686
[2017] EWCA Crim 1686
CA (Crim Div) (Treacy LJ, Jay J, Warby J)
27 October 2017

The court reduced, from 11 years to 10 years’ imprisonment, the sentences imposed on the parents of a 17-week-old child following their convictions for causing or allowing her death. Although there were numerous aggravating features, including an attempt to cover up the circumstances of her death, insufficient weight had been given to the finding that the parents had had constructive, rather than actual, knowledge of the significant risk of serious harm to their child.

[2017] EWCA Crim 1460
[2017] EWCA Crim 1460
CA (Crim Div) (Thirlwall LJ, Warby J, Recorder of Westminster)
6 October 2017

A judge had not erred in imposing a sentence of life imprisonment upon an offender who pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the basis of diminished responsibility, rather than hospital and restriction orders under the Mental Health Act 1983 s.37 and s.41. Although fresh evidence had been produced, to the effect that the offender had been suffering from schizophrenia at the time of the offence, that evidence did not establish that the offending was entirely due to mental disorder. Even on the basis of the fresh evidence, the judge could not have concluded that the most suitable method of disposing of the case was by way of a s.37 order.

[2017] EWCA Crim 986
[2017] EWCA Crim 986
CA (Crim Div) (Irwin LJ, May J, Judge Dickinson QC)
7 July 2017

Sentences of 13 years’ and nine years’ imprisonment were appropriate in the case of two men who had been convicted of manslaughter (one having pleaded guilty) after ambushing a man delivering pizzas and using violence to rob him.

[2017] EWCA Crim 647
[2017] EWCA Crim 647
CA (Crim Div) (Hallett LJ, Treacy LJ, McGowan J)
23 May 2017

A person suffering from schizophrenia who killed while intoxicated could rely on the defence of diminished responsibility if their condition was of such severity that, even without intoxication, it would have impaired their responsibility. They could also rely on the defence if the schizophrenia was coupled with drink or drug dependence which together substantially impaired responsibility.

[2017] EWCA Crim 326
[2017] EWCA Crim 326
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Thomas LCJ, Sir Brian Leveson, Hallett LJ)
28 March 2017

The court refused an application made by various media organisations for disclosure of video recordings taken by a marine during the killing of a wounded insurgent in Afghanistan. The balance of the principles of open justice and the rights of the media under ECHR art.10 against the circumstances militating against disclosure lay against disclosure.

[2017] EWCA Crim 325
[2017] EWCA Crim 325
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Thomas LCJ, Sir Brian Leveson PQBD, Dame Heather Hallett, Openshaw J, Sweeney J)
28 March 2017

A marine whose conviction for the murder of a wounded insurgent in Afghanistan was quashed and replaced by a verdict of manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility was sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment and dismissed from the armed forces. In the absence of a Sentencing Council guideline for the offence of manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility, the court set out in detail the relevant factors for consideration.

[2017] EWCA Crim 305
[2017] EWCA Crim 305
CA (Crim Div) (Sir Brian Leveson PQBD, Holroyde J, Saunders J)
15 March 2017

A sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment was appropriate following a conviction for manslaughter where an 18-year-old offender had deliberately driven a stolen car at a police officer. The judge had been correct to find that a grave offence of manslaughter had been committed, with a very high degree of culpability. He had not erred in having regard to what the minimum term would have been if the offender had been convicted of murder.

[2017] EWCA Crim 190
[2017] EWCA Crim 190
CMAC (Lord Thomas LCJ, Sir Brian Leveson PQBD, Dame Heather Hallett, Openshaw J, Sweeney J)
15 March 2017

A marine’s conviction for the murder of a wounded insurgent would be replaced by a verdict of manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility. At the time of the killing, the marine had been suffering from an adjustment disorder which substantially impaired his ability to form a rational judgment and exercise self-control.

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