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R v Michael Robson [2006] EWCA Crim 2749

A conviction for murder was quashed and a verdict of manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility was substituted where the trial judge had delivered a jury direction on diminished responsibility along the same lines as that which was held to be a misdirection in R v Anthony Dietschmann [2003] UKHL 10; [2003[ Crim LR 550.

24 November 2006

The appellant (R) appealed against his conviction for murder on the basis that the judge had misdirected the jury on the defence of diminished responsibility. R had been convicted in October 1996 of murdering his friend by stabbing him in the stomach, and of wounding his sister with intent by slashing her face with a knife. He had been intoxicated at the time. He was sentenced to life imprisonment, with a concurrent sentence of five years for the offence of wounding with intent. The specified period for the purpose of the life sentence had been increased by the Lord Chief Justice from 11 years to 14 years. Experts who gave psychiatric evidence for the defence stated that R had a dissocial personality disorder and had been suffering from an acute stress disorder at the time of the killing. The Crown’s experts concluded that R did not suffer from any abnormality of the mind. At the relevant time, the approved jury direction in cases involving diminished responsibility in the context...

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