Success Stories

Successful Plea of Diminished Responsibility

By Rachel Hobba  |  08.03.2022

The defendant was charged with murder, the deceased being his mother with whom he was extremely close.

In the weeks leading up to her death, it was clear that there was a deterioration in the defendant’s mental health cumulating in an incident in which the police were called and a decision was made to take him to a hospital to be assessed.

Despite the fact that the defendant was clearly unwell, there were no beds available and a decision was taken to discharge him back into the care of his mother with a community visit arranged initially for the following day.

The next day his mother was killed.

We instructed two psychiatrists and numerous assessments were carried out. The prosecution expert agreed that the defendant was suffering from a psychosis which was likely his first schizophrenic episode.

The prosecution agreed to accept a plea to manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibly. Our client was sentenced a hospital order with a restriction.

This was a harrowing case that was tragic for all involved. An investigation is taking place in relation to the hospital involved. Click here to read national news coverage of this case.

Rachel Hobba was the solicitor with conduct of this case. Katy Thorne QC of Doughty Street Chambers and Karen Walton of Drystone Chambers.

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