The court upheld an offender’s convictions for murder and attempted murder following the fatal shooting of a member of a rival gang.
A trial judge’s decision to withdraw a murder charge from the jury was overturned where it was found that the victim’s death by euthanasia was a direct response to his injuries and the unbearable suffering resulting from them for which the defendant was responsible. It was open to the jury to conclude that neither the victim’s suffering nor his decision to end his life could be described as “voluntary” in the sense of being the product of free and unfettered volition presupposed by the novus actus interveniens rule.
A prisoner facing the death penalty following his conviction for the murder of a fellow inmate was not permitted to admit fresh medical evidence in his appeal against conviction and sentence. He had wanted to rely on new evidence relating to his mental state at the time of the offence, with a view to supporting a case of diminished responsibility, but that evidence was directly contrary to the case advanced at trial, and there was nothing to explain the change of position. The Privy Council also rejected his renewed appeal against a judicial direction in respect of evidence of propensity.
A minimum term of 30 years imposed in connection with a life sentence for murder was justified where the offender had been convicted on the basis of a joint enterprise. A case would normally fall within the Criminal Justice Act 2003 Sch.21 para.5 if it was a murder involving the use of a firearm, and the wording of that provision was not confined to the person who had pulled the trigger.
The court considered the extent to which a mental disorder could be relevant to an assessment of “the circumstances of the defendant” when considering the partial defence of loss of control under the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 s.54(1).