Successful Plea of Insanity

Amy Cox

25 March 2022

Our client was accused of aggravated burglary of a dwelling. The Crown stated that the defendant forced her way into the complainant’s property, straddled her, and attempted to hit her with a plastic mallet. Our client’s case was that she had no memory of the incident.
Having been unhappy with her previous solicitors, we successfully obtained a transfer of the legal aid in her case. We instructed a neurologist to assess our client, who was suffering from complex mental health problems and a developmental brain abnormality. The prosecution instructed a neuropsychiatrist. The experts agreed our client had a defence of insanity.

Following the trial, the jury returned a special verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity. Unfortunately, prior to sentence, our client was arrested for a possession of bladed article in a public place and was sectioned as a result. We appeared pro-bono at the magistrates’ Court to ensure the Court was aware of the complexities of our client’s situation. We then obtained legal aid for this matter and made written representations to the Crown that it was not in the interests of justice to prosecute a further offence so clearly linked to our client’s mental health. We submitted that, as she was likely to receive a hospital order for the Crown Court offence, it would be detrimental to her wellbeing to put her through further proceedings simply to achieve the same result. The Crown accepted our representations and discontinued the proceedings for possession of a bladed article.

Following in excess of 10 reports from various medical professionals, our client was sentenced to a hospital order without a restriction. Due to her profound mental health issues, this client has repeatedly struggled to engage with the Courts, her legal teams, and medical experts, and we are very pleased to have ensured she received the best result for her wellbeing.

Head of Litigation Amy Cox was the solicitor with conduct of this case. She was assisted by trainee Phoebe Coleman. Our in-house advocate David Kitson represented our client in Court.

Thank you

A member of our team will contact you shortly.