A more recent version of these Defences 1 (Intoxication And Consent) notes – written by Cambridge/Bpp/College Of Law students – is available here.
The following is a more accessble plain text extract of the PDF sample above, taken from our GDL Criminal Law Notes. Due to the challenges of extracting text from PDFs, it will have odd formatting:
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 .
Buy the full version of these notes or essay plans and more in our GDL Criminal Law Notes.