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R v Doughty [1986]

Facts

  • The defendant suffocated his son shortly after birth due to incessant crying

Issue

  • Could the defendant claim that he was provoked?

Decision

  • Yes

Reasoning

  • The judge was wrong to say that the crying did not fall within the definition of a provocative act under the old defence of provocation
  • As the defendant neither feared immediate violence nor had a justified sense of being seriously wronged, it is highly likely that a judge could not allow today’s modern equivalent of provocation: loss of self-control, to be raised as a defence. If it was allowed, the jury would be entitled to find the act unreasonable
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