Fennell, Letts and Wilson, Mental Health Tribunals (Law Society 2013):
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Category:Unfitness and insanity cases

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The pages below are initially ordered according to the dates on which they were added to the site (most recent first). The order can be changed by clicking on the symbol beside a column heading: click on the symbol beside "Page and summary" for alphabetical order; click beside "Categories" for the order in which the cases were reported. Click on the arrow symbol again to reverse the order. Click on a page name to view the relevant page.
Page and summaryDate added to siteCategories
R v Coley (2013) EWCA Crim 223, (2013) MHLO 23 — "We have heard these three cases in succession because they have some features in common. Each raises a (different) question connected with the interplay between the law relating to voluntary intoxication and the law relating to insanity or (non-insane) automatism. Each calls, however, for consideration of its very particular facts. Neither individually nor collectively do they provide an occasion for any wide-ranging general statement of the law of insanity, still less of loss of capacity generally. We know that this area of the law is under active consideration by the Law Commission, which work will, we think, be of value. Although there have historically been very few cases which raise insanity, that has been because the statutory provisions governing the disposal orders which must be made if there is a verdict of insanity have historically inhibited attempts to rely on it. More recent changes in those disposal provisions may well lead to an increase in numbers. Any review must, ..→2013-03-272013 cases, No summary, Transcript, Unfitness and insanity cases
AG's reference (no 3 of 1998) (1999) EWCA Crim 835 — "The Court of Appeal is asked to give its opinion on the following point of law: What has to be proved when an inquiry is embarked upon under the Trial of Lunatics Act 1883, to determine whether the Defendant 'did the act or made the omission charged'?" [Summary required.] 2012-12-202012 cases, No summary, Transcript, Unfitness and insanity cases
R v B (2012) EWCA Crim 1799, (2012) MHLO 119 — The trial judge found the appellant unfit to plead. The appellant had admitted the act charged during an interview under caution, and the judge refused to exclude that evidence. On the basis of that evidence, the jury found that the appellant had done the act charged. (1) Given that the appellant's mental state was the same during interview as when found unfit to plead, the Court of Appeal found it impossible to understand how the interview could have been admitted: the finding that he had done the act was therefore set aside. (2) The Court of Appeal would have ordered a retrial but has no power to do; the court noted that it was 'high time that Parliament remedied this most unfortunate error in the law'. 2012-12-172012 cases, Brief summary, Missing from Bailii, Transcript, Unfitness and insanity cases
R v B (2012) EWCA Crim 770, (2012) MHLO 42 — The appellant, an autistic young man who was prosecuted for voyeurism for looking into a swimming pool cubicle, was found by the judge to be unfit to be tried and by the jury to have committed the act charged against him. Voyeurism consists of, for the purpose of obtaining sexual gratification, observing another person doing a private act, knowing that the other person does not consent to being observed for sexual gratification (s67 Sexual Offences Act 2003). (1) Contrary to the judge's direction, the 'act' includes 'for the purpose of obtaining sexual gratification' (only the knowledge was part of the state of mind); hence, the jury's determination was unsafe and the appeal would be allowed. (2) The question of whether the jury should have had expert evidence on whether the appellant had committed the act was (although treated with some doubt) left open for argument in a future case. (3) A Sexual Offences Prevention Order could only be made 'for the purpose of protecting the ..→2012-04-282012 cases, Brief summary, Transcript, Unfitness and insanity cases
R v Walton (aka Wright) (2010) EWCA Crim 2255 — Criminal appeal (fitness to plead). [Summary required.] 2011-08-092010 cases, No summary, Transcript, Unfitness and insanity cases
R v MB (2010) EWCA Crim 1684 — (1) It was unfair to try the appellant, who was unfit to plead, with a co-defendant who made allegations against him in an attempt to exculpate herself, so the finding that he had committed the acts charged against him was unsafe. (2) This successful appeal meant that he had to be acquitted and that, because of a lacuna in the law, the Secretary of State now had no power to remit him for trial on the basis that he had become fit to plead. 2010-07-232010 cases, Brief summary, Missing from Bailii, Transcript, Unfitness and insanity cases
R v Shulman (2010) EWCA Crim 1034 — (1) For the convictions the court substituted findings that the appellant was under a disability at the time of trial, namely he was unfit to plead, and that he did the acts charged against him. (2) In respect of each count a restricted hospital order was imposed, in place of the prison sentences. 2010-05-222010 cases, Brief summary, Missing from Bailii, No transcript, Unfitness and insanity cases
Juncal v UK 32357/09 (2010) ECHR 249 — Lawfulness of detention. Statement of facts and questions to the parties lodged at court. [Summary required.] 2010-03-022010 cases, ECHR, ECHR deprivation of liberty cases, No summary, Transcript, Unfitness and insanity cases
Her Majesty's Advocate v S (1999) ScotHC 183 — Fitness to plead. [Summary required.] 2009-11-301999 cases, No summary, Scottish cases, Transcript, Unfitness and insanity cases
C v Sevenoaks Youth Court (2009) EWHC 3088 (Admin) — (1) When trying a young child, and most particularly a child such as C who is only 12 with learning and behavioural difficulties, notwithstanding the absence of any express statutory power, the Youth Court has a duty under its inherent powers and under the Criminal Procedure Rules to take such steps as are necessary to ensure that he has a fair trial, not just during the proceedings, but beforehand as he and his lawyers prepare for trial; in this case, C required an intermediary. (2) As the MoJ had voluntarily accepted responsibility for the payment of intermediaries, the LSC decision not to provide funding was lawful. (3) The CPS decision to continue with the trial was lawful. 2009-11-302009 cases, Brief summary, Other criminal law cases, Transcript, Unfitness and insanity cases
R v Ghulam (2009) EWCA Crim 2285 — Under CPIA 1964 s4 the court must not make a determination that the defendant is unfit to plead without medical evidence from two medical practitioners; however, where the medical evidence of unfitness to plead is only available from one medical practitioner, the judge is not bound to adjourn the trial but can make a determination that the defendant is fit to plead. 2009-10-242009 cases, Detailed summary, ICLR summary, Transcript, Unfitness and insanity cases
R v Grant (2008) EWCA Crim 1870 — Based on recently-obtained medical evidence that the appellant's significant learning disability and unfitness to plead was masked by his external demeanour and physical appearance, his conviction (and 3-year community order) was quashed and substituted with a verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity (and a 2-year supervision order). 2009-10-242008 cases, Brief summary, Transcript, Unfitness and insanity cases
R (Blouet) v Bath and Wansdyke Magistrates Court (2009) EWHC 759 (Admin) — Fitness to plead - guidance on procedure to be followed by magistrates' court. [Summary required.] 2009-06-152009 cases, No summary, Transcript, Unfitness and insanity cases
R (London Borough of Harrow) v Maidstone Crown Court (1999) EWHC Admin 385 — A Crown Court judge’s purported finding that a defendant was not guilty by reason of insanity was outside his jurisdiction and so not pursuant to the indictment, and so could be challenged by judicial review. [MHLR.] 2009-04-111999 cases, Brief summary, MHLR summary, Transcript, Unfitness and insanity cases
R v Borkan (2004) EWCA Crim 1642 — The judge was right not to adjourn for a psychiatric report on fitness to plead and stand trial, as he had two reports already stating that the defendant was not unfit; a jury could not determine fitness to plead or stand trial without supporting medical evidence, and on the facts there was none; appeal dismissed. 2009-04-112004 cases, Brief summary, Transcript, Unfitness and insanity cases
R v M (John) (2003) EWCA Crim 3452 — The principal issue in this appeal concerns the test to be applied as a matter of law in determining whether an accused is fit to plead to the charge, or charges, against him. 2009-04-112003 cases, No summary, Transcript, Unfitness and insanity cases
R v H (2003) UKHL 1 — Article 6 does not apply to proceedings under sections 4 (finding of unfitness to plead) and 4A (finding that the accused did the act or made the omission charged against him) Criminal Procedure (Insanity) Act 1964. 2009-04-112003 cases, No summary, Transcript, Unfitness and insanity cases
R v Fairley (Terry James) (2003) EWCA Crim 1625 — Having found the defendant unfit to plead, the court had no power to impose a hospital order or restriction order; the proper course would have been to consider an admission order with restrictions; the orders were quashed and the case remitted to the Crown Court. [NB the law has since changed.] 2009-04-112003 cases, Brief summary, Transcript, Unfitness and insanity cases
R v Shepherd (Jack) (2002) EWCA Crim 1091 — Conviction quashed and substituted with an admission order with restrictions as, had the issue been raised, on the evidence the jury would have found that the defendant was unfit to plead but had done the act. 2009-04-112002 cases, No summary, Transcript, Unfitness and insanity cases
R v Johnson (Frank) (2002) EWCA Crim 1900 — Conviction quashed as during trial the defendant had become unfit to plead. 2009-04-112002 cases, No summary, Transcript, Unfitness and insanity cases
R v M (2001) EWCA Crim 2024 — Article 6 does not apply to proceedings under sections 4 (finding of unfitness to plead) and 4A (finding that the accused did the act or made the omission charged against him) Criminal Procedure (Insanity) Act 1964. 2009-04-112001 cases, No summary, Transcript, Unfitness and insanity cases
R v Grant (2001) EWCA Crim 2611 — Having been charged with murder and found unfit to be tried, a defendant cannot rely on lack of intent and/or provocation during the exercise under s4A Criminal Procedure (Insanity) Act 1964 (finding that the defendant did the act or made the omission) as only the actus reus needs to be proved; appeal against admission order and restriction order under s5 refused. 2009-04-112001 cases, Brief summary, Transcript, Unfitness and insanity cases
Antoine v UK 62960/00 (2003) ECHR 709 — The claimant was detained under a hospital order, it having been found that he was unfit to plead but had done the act. His complaint was based on Article 6 (unable to participate effectively, no trial within reasonable time, breach of presumption of innocence), Article 3 (living under threat of further prosecution), and Article 5 (arbitrary detention). Application declared inadmissible. 2009-04-092003 cases, Brief summary, ECHR, Transcript, Unfitness and insanity cases
Hasani v Blackfriars Crown Court (2005) EWHC 3016 (Admin) — If an accused person is found to be unfit to plead under s4 Criminal Procedure (Insanity) Act 1964 but becomes fit to plead before he is dealt with under 5, the court is not required to follow the procedures in sections 4A and 5 (which would probably lead to an absolute discharge); instead, a second s4 hearing should take place and if appropriate the necessary order for arraignment made. 2009-01-172005 cases, Brief summary, Transcript, Unfitness and insanity cases
R v B (2008) EWCA Crim 1997 — CRIME— Plea — Fitness to plead — Two among several defendants found unfit to plead — Jury yet to be empanelled — Judge finding single jury incapable in principle of hearing case against fit and unfit defendants together — Whether such conclusion correct. Where one of several defendants in the same criminal proceedings became unfit to stand trial before a jury had been empanelled there was nothing in principle to prevent a single empanelled jury subsequently proceeding to hear the trial of all the defendants, although in the case of the unfit defendant the jury would now be looking to the question whether he had committed the actus reus of the relevant offence. 2008-09-232008 cases, Detailed summary, Transcript, Unfitness and insanity cases
R v Antoine (1999) EWCA Crim 1171 — Post-judgment discussion. 2008-09-221999 cases, No summary, Transcript, Unfitness and insanity cases
R v Antoine (1999) EWCA Crim 1170 — Court of Appeal judgment. 2008-09-221999 cases, No summary, Transcript, Unfitness and insanity cases
R v Antoine (2000) UKHL 20 — "The issue which arises on this appeal is whether an accused person charged with murder is entitled to rely on the defence of diminished responsibility under section 2 of the Homicide Act 1957, when he has been found by a jury to be unfit to plead by reason of mental disability, and a jury proceeds under section 4A(2) of the Criminal Procedure (Insanity) Act 1964 (as substituted by section 2 of the Criminal Procedure (Insanity and Unfitness to Plead) Act 1991) to determine whether he did the act charged against him as the offence." 2008-09-222000 cases, Brief summary, Transcript, Unfitness and insanity cases
R (A) v Harrow Crown Court (2003) EWHC 2020 (Admin) — The court order detaining the claimant under s37/41 MHA 1983 following a finding of unfitness to plead was irregular (as ultra vires s5 CPIA 1964 as then enacted) and was quashed; however, the detention was in accordance with a procedure prescribed by law and was not arbitrary, so there was no breach of Article 5. 2008-09-222003 cases, Detailed summary, Transcript, Unfitness and insanity cases
R (Juncal) v SSHD (2008) EWCA Civ 869 — Lawfulness of detention. 2008-09-132008 cases, No summary, Transcript, Unfitness and insanity cases
R v Leslie Norman (2008) EWCA Crim 1810 — Criminal appeal. Fitness to plead. 2008-09-132008 cases, No summary, Transcript, Unfitness and insanity cases
Narey v HM Customs and Excise (2005) EWHC 784 (Admin) — s5 CPIA 1964. 2008-09-122005 cases, No summary, Transcript, Unfitness and insanity cases
R (Surat Singh) v Stratford Magistrates Court (2007) EWHC 1582 (Admin) — (1) The common law defence of insanity is available in the magistrates' court and prevents conviction (though does not necessarily lead to acquittal); (2) section 37(3) allows the magistrate, if satisfied that the accused did the act or made the omission charged, to abstain from convicting or acquitting or considering the issue of insanity, and instead to make a hospital or guardianship order. 2008-02-222007 cases, Brief summary, Transcript, Unfitness and insanity cases
R v Johnson (Dean) (2007) EWCA Crim 1978 — The defendant knew his actions were legally wrong but did not believe them to be morally wrong: because he knew they were legally wrong he was not entitled under the M'Naghten Rules to ask the jury to enter a verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity. 2008-02-222007 cases, Brief summary, Transcript, Unfitness and insanity cases
R (Juncal) v SSHD (2007) EWHC 3024 (Admin) — (1) The common law principle of legality meant that subordinate legislation could not impose arbitrary detention without the authorisation of the enabling act. However, the Order in Council conferring a mandatory hospital order on those unfit to stand trial (without any investigation of the facts of the alleged offence) did not impose arbitrary detention: on the facts, medical evidence had been considered, and, in general, the court could postpone consideration of fitness to stand trial until after the prosecution case if it was likely that there was no case to answer. (2) The detention occurred before the coming into force of the HRA 1998 so any ECHR claim would necessarily fail. 2008-02-222007 cases, Brief summary, Transcript, Unfitness and insanity cases
R v Chal (2007) EWCA Crim 2647 — Hearsay evidence admissible in s4A Criminal Procedure (Insanity) Act 1964 proceedings 2007-12-272007 cases, Brief summary, Transcript, Unfitness and insanity cases

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The following 36 pages are in this category.

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