Murder: a whole spectrum of conduct
Law and Rights

Murder: a whole spectrum of conduct

The law of murder remains one of the few crimes still basically defined by our ancient common law. Parliament has stepped in from time-to-time ? (most recently in 2009) - to alter particular aspects of the law. There is now a pressing need for a full and complete overhaul.

In essence, a person (D) will be guilty of murder if he unlawfully kills another person (V) and at the relevant time he intended to kill V or intended to cause grievous bodily harm to V. A simple illustration is where D gets a gun, goes to a place where he knows V will be and then shoots V through the heart and kills him.

One of the problems with murder is that it covers a massive spectrum of conduct from the terrorist who plants a bomb on board an aircraft to the person who kills another for reasons of mercy or compassion so as to alleviate suffering. The immensely tragic case of Frances Inglis illustrates this. Her trial was held at The Old Bailey before the Common Serjeant of London (His Honour Judge Brian Barker QC) and a jury. She has been convicted by the 10:2 majority verdict of the jury of the murder of her severely disabled son ? see The Times 20th January 2010 and she has received the mandatory sentence of life imprisonment (which has to be imposed by the trial judge). She has been told that she will serve 9 years (less days already served whilst on remand) before being eligible for parole.

The Law Commission has called for fundamental reform and the Commission proposed a new Act of Parliament involving a 3 tier structure for general homicide offences.

Mercy killings are discussed in Part 7 of the Law Commission?s report. They went on to recommend that the Government undertake a public consultation on whether and, if so, to what extent the law should recognise either an offence of ?mercy? killing or a partial defence of ?mercy? killing.

There has been no action on this. I would hope that the government might be spurred on to conduct that consultation sooner rather than later.

- R V Abdulrahman ~ Grievous Bodily Harm To Baby ~ Post Partum Psychosis ~ Sentencing
In the Crown Court at Birmingham, Mrs Justice Thirlwall has imposed a sentence of 30 months imprisonment on Jaymin Abdulrahman who was convicted of causing grievous bodily harm to her then six day old baby in September 2012.  The judge's concise...

- R V Iftikhar Ahmed And Farzana Ahmed
" ... your concern about being shamed in your community was greater than your love of your child ..." - Mr Justice Roderick Evans Few crimes shock as much as the murder by a parent of their child.  At the Crown Court in Chester - before Mr Justice...

- The Law Of Murder: Implementation Of Further Reform
For acts or omissions on or after 4th October 2010, there will be changes to the law of murder: see Coroners and Justice Act 2009 Part 2 Chapter 1.  The reforms relate to the partial defences to murder of diminished responsibility and provocation. ...

- Government Now Attracted To Reforming The Law Of Murder ... Wonder Why?
Back in January 2010, Law and Lawyers had a brief look at the law of murder "Murder: a whole spectrum of conduct".  In 2004, the Law Commission described the law as a "mess" and, in 2006, published their report - Law Com 304 Murder, Manslaughter...

- Joint Enterprise Murder
In R v Rahman [2008] UKHL 45, Lord Brown began his speech by stating ? ?There are many more murderers under our law than there are people who have killed intentionally. The actus reus of murder is, of course, the killing of the victim; the mens rea (established...

Law and Rights