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R v Dietschmann

[2003] Crim LR 550

Case summary last updated at 11/01/2020 15:44 by the Oxbridge Notes in-house law team.

Judgement for the case R v Dietschmann

A man killed his friend while drunk and when suffering from depression in the wake of his aunt’s death. The judge said the jury had to consider whether the defendant would have killed his friend if he had not been drunk and if he would have been under diminished responsibility when he did so. The jury convicted him of murder and the appellant’s appeal was dismissed by CA. HL allowed the appeal, saying that there was misdirection: even if he would not have killed but for drinking, he was still under an abnormal state of mind when he did the killing and this reduced his mental responsibility. This abandoned the Gittens test which was “if he had not been drunk, would he have killed as in fact he did?” If not then diminished responsibility was not open to him. Lord Hutton considers more than one factor as playing a part (drunkenness AND abnormality) 

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