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R v O’Grady

[1987] 3 WLR 321

Case summary last updated at 13/01/2020 14:16 by the Oxbridge Notes in-house law team.

Judgement for the case R v O’Grady

D killed V while intoxicated, genuinely, though mistakenly, believing that V was trying to kill him. He was convicted of manslaughter (murder is a specific intent crime and therefore not possible to commit while intoxicated). CA rejected appeal since, although ordinarily self-defence judges the case based on the facts as D believed them to be, this was not so where D’s mistake was the result of voluntary intoxication. Lord Lane said it was in the public safety interest that drunken mistake should not lead to acquittal because this ignores prior fault, which is clearly different to a case where a paranoid or mentally ill person has an irrational view of the circumstances. 

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