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Camplin v DPP [1978]


  • The defendant, aged 15, hit the victim over the head with a pan after being raped and laughed at by the victim
  • The victim died as a result of the blow
  • The jury was told not to take account of the defendant’s age under the (old) defence of provocation pleaded, rendering the defence useless in the eyes of the jury


  • Could the jury be told to account for the defendant’s age as part of the reasonableness test of provocation?


  • Yes


  • Lord Diplock ruled that as part of the reasonableness test, the defendant’s age and sex should be accounted for by the jury. This judgment was adopted as part of the new defence of loss of self-control in the Coroners and Justice Act 2009, section 54(1)(c).
  • The test for consent is a subjective one
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