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Gemma Shepherd-Etchells

on 26 May 2018

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Transcript of Insanity

M'Naghten 1843
1. Defect of reason
2. Result of a disease of the mind
3. Causing D not to know the nature & quality of his act
1. Defect of reason
2. Disease of the mind
Can be:-
a. mental disorder, or
b. physical disease affecting the mind, whether permanent or temporary.
Kemp 1956
- Hardening of the arteries causing problems with the blood supply to the brain was a defence to GBH against his wife.
Sullivan 1983
- Epilepsy can be a disease of the mind, it does not have to be permanent.
Hennessy 1989
- Not taking insulin causing high blood sugar can be a disease of the mind.
Kemp 1956

Sullivan 1983
Hennessy 1989
A disease of the mind can be a physical disease affecting the mind, whether permanent or temporary as long as it is
3. D does not know nature & quality of act
They may not know this as:-
1. May be acting unconsciously.
2. May be conscious, but due to impairment may have no awareness.

Windle 1952
- After killing his wife he stated "I suppose they will hang me for this!"
Windle 1952
As soon as D knows it is wrong they do not satisfy this part of the defence.
Affects MR therefore not relevant to strict liability offences -
Common law defence
If successful will return a special verdict of not guilty by way of insanity
Distinction of
A disease of the mind must be
e.g. sleepwalking as seen in
Burgess 1991

External factors such as not eating after taking insulin and causing low blood sugar levels will not be a disease of the mind, as this is caused by the external insulin -
Quick 1973
(Contrast with
Hennessy 1989
case where there was a disease of the mind caused internally by the diabetes)
Now over to you...
1. Complete the case table.
2. Answer the quick quiz questions.
Clarke 1972
There must be more than absentmindedness for a defect of reason.
Clarke 1972
D went into a shop, put items in her bag and left without paying. When charged with theft she claimed she had no recollection of them being there, as she was suffering from absentmindedness caused by diabetes and depression.
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