Murder is without doubt the most serious offence that a person can be accused of. The offence is committed where a person of sound mind and discretion unlawfully kills another person, and at the time they did so they had an intention to kill that person or an intention to cause that person grievous bodily harm.
The rule that the death of the victim must occur within a year and a day of the act of the defendant which caused the death has been abolished, save where the act or omission that caused death occurred prior to 16 June 1996.
All of the usual general defences recognised in law apply to the offence of murder. In addition, there is a further defence which relates to the situation where the offence was committed due to a loss of control by the accused. Loss of control is only a partial defence to murder. Where loss of control is established, a conviction for murder would be commuted to one of manslaughter. Loss of control is not a partial defence to any other type of offence against the person.
The defence of provocation, which is effectively abolished by the Coroner’s & Justice Act 2009, still applies to any allegations of murder having been committed before the 4 October 2010.
A further defence only applicable to the offence of murder is one of diminished responsibility. The defence is set out in Section 2 of the Homicide Act 1957. Diminished responsibility is again a partial defence to murder. Where diminished responsibility is established, a conviction for murder will be commuted to one of manslaughter.
A person convicted of murder will be sentenced to a term of imprisonment for life. It will be for the Court to determine the minimum term of imprisonment that the defendant will serve before he or she will become eligible for parole. In the most serious of cases the Court has the power to make a full life order where there will be no parole.
Murder cases can be extremely complex. There is no right to bail when charged with murder. Consequently, the defendant must have a competent and experienced legal team to work on his behalf to defend the case.
Our team of specialist criminal solicitors have a wealth of experience in advising clients in all manner of serious and complex criminal cases including defendants charged with murder. We can provide the best possible advice and representation to a client charged with this most serious of offences in order to achieve the best possible outcome for him or her.
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If you have been accused of an Assault and require representation, contact us immediately to speak to one of our specialist solicitors to discuss your case in confidence and to obtain fee quote. Our representation is provided on a privately funded basis. We do not offer any form of Legal Aid funding.
You can call 0161 236 7007 at any time or send us a confidential email by clicking here. You can also call one of specialist solicitors direct on their mobile phones. Please call Edward Atkinson on 07771 635523 or Damien Simmonds on 07899 667644.
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