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Criminal: Defences I (Intoxication and Consent) Intoxication
- intoxication: technically not a 'defence' (but convenient handle) - can operate in 2 ways:
1. negate mens rea of an offence; or
2. influencing factor in another legal principle/defence.
- Intoxication negating mens rea - how?
principle: d. can use ev. of intoxication to show that he did not form requisite MR for offence. Woolmington : prosecution must prove AR + MR beyond reasonable doubt. judge must direct jury: ev. of intoxication ? reasonable possibility that d. did not form MR - R v Bennett . actual formation of MR, not capability to form MR relevant. old approach: intoxication only 'defence' if d. incapable of forming MR - R v Beard . Sheehan and Moore : Beard criticised - inappropriate + inconsistent with subjective test in s8 Criminal Justice Act 1967. R v Pordage : issue - did d. form requisite MR (even if still capable)?
if d. formed requisite MR while intoxicated, no defence: loss of inhibitions irrelevant. R v Kingston : d. lured into compromising situation + poss. drugged, encouraged to abuse 15 y-o boy; did so ? HoL: guilty
- had formed MR; drunken intent still intent: irrelevant that would not have committed offence sober. if MR not present: full acquittal in certain circumstances.
- Intoxication negating mens rea - when?
crimes in which intoxication may negate MR:
1. involuntary intoxication: e.g. d's drink/food 'spiked' or 'laced'.
2. voluntary intoxication in bona fide medical treatment.
3. voluntary intoxication by non-dangerous drugs.
4. crimes of specific intent. evidential burden on d.: d. raises issue of intoxication ? prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that d. formed requisite MR. consider 3 questions:
1. is d. voluntarily intoxicated or involuntarily intoxicated?
2. is intoxicant alcohol/dangerous drug or non-dangerous drug?
3. is crime of basic intent or specific intent?
Negating MR: Involuntary Intoxication
- Involuntary intoxication: may be defence for any offence - R v Kingston. involuntary: d. forced or deceived into taking drug/alcohol. NOT mistake as to strength of alcohol - R v Allen . NOT if merely lowered inhibitions - R v Kingston. prescription drugs: intoxication involuntary, BUT NOT if exceeding prescription.
Negating MR: Voluntary Intoxication by Non-Dangerous Drugs
- Voluntary intoxication by non-dangerous drugs: may be defence for any offence - R v Hardie .
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