January 2013 Aqa Law
Murder is defined as an unlawful killing of a reasonable creature in being under the King’s peace with malice aforethought, express or implied.
For Helen to satisfy the AR of murder (the unlawful killing) she must be the factual and legal cause of the death. We use the but for test, which shows if the consequence would or wouldn’t of happened ‘but for’ the Ds actions. As in the case of R v White, ‘but for’ him poisoning his mothers drink, she would of died anyway as she died of a heart attack, so he was not guilty of murder. ‘But for’ Helen throwing the firework in the room, Ian would not have died so she was the factual cause of death. Also, the legal causation is necessary, which is where the D must be the ‘operating and …show more content…
However, Ian ‘laughed scornfully’ at Helen when she mentioned the phone call and the fact he lent a another woman a large sum of money when he had been not contributing financially to his wife, would make the reasonable man feel seriously wronged and as DPP v Camplin shows, if the reasonable man would feel wronged, the anger trigger can be used to justify the killing.
The final issue is using the ultimate objective test, would a woman of Helens age and with a normal degree of tolerance and self restraint behave in the same/similar way as Helen did. This is without reference to Helens personality disorder and symptoms she suffered from this, as the reasonable person does not suffer from this. The reasonable person taking into account the threats and previous violent behaviour, as well as the scornful laughing and borrowing other women money, would amount to behaviour of a extremely grave character and so her actions would be justified. Helen could use the defence of loss of control.
Another defence Helen could possibly argue is diminished responsibility which is under the Homicide Act 1957, and amended by the Coroners and Justice Act 2009. The defence is based on the D’s lack of mental