View Full Version : A genuine question: what has happened to the British juduciary ?

26th Jan 2013, 08:30
Blacksmith killed wife of three months with industrial hammer after she put away his things | Mail Online (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2268350/Blacksmith-killed-wife-months-industrial-hammer-away-things.html)

A husband attacks his wife , first trying to strangle her and then with a hammer because she cleared away some of his things. She dies, he is sentenced to 7 1/2 years for manslaughter.

There are numerous things I don't understand:

1) Why manslaughter ? I know it wasn't planned, but the man is an industrial sculptor, not retarded, so must know that blows to the head with a hammer will likely cause death. These blows occured after he tried to strangle her so it was not just one blow that occured in a blind moment of rage. For me manslaughter in when someone dies in a fight because they fall and hit their head or similar unpredictable incidents.
2) Manslaughter use to get a sentence of 10 -15 years at a time when remission was only one third, so would be 7-10 years imprisonment. Now that there is 50% remission, this sentence is only three years and nine months time inside.

Hell of a difference there . Why ? I know there have been lots of general changes in sentencing guide-lines, but can anyone with knowledge of the facts tell me if the guidelines now set lower limits or is it that judges generally now set lower sentences ?

I remember reading newspaper reports analysing sentencing tendencies and they have showed that maximum sentences are practically never applied.

26th Jan 2013, 08:34
Why manslaughter ?
Probably because he had a good lawyer.

26th Jan 2013, 08:40
Laws come from parliament, not the courts. Courts can screw up with their interpretation of the laws, hence the appeal process.

Why not run for office - I'd vote for you!

26th Jan 2013, 08:50
"Laws come from parliament, not the courts."

I'm not a lawyer, but I do know that in Common Law jurisdictions such as UK & the US precedent counts for a lot and not everything is codified by statute. Unlike the "Continental" way of doing things, that is.

26th Jan 2013, 10:00
Charging him with murder and him getting off is a risk, getting him on a manslaughter charge and in Prison may be only option.

Rail Engineer
26th Jan 2013, 11:04
In the UK, the law of murder is set out in common law. The legal definition of murder is 'the unlawful killing of a human being in the Queen's peace, with malice aforethought'.

The actus reus of murder consists of the unlawful killing of a human being in the Queen's peace. The mens rea of murder is malice aforethought, which has been interpreted by the courts as meaning intention to kill or intention to cause GBH.

A murder conviction carries a mandatory life sentence. The judge passing sentence can not pass a lesser sentence no matter how mitigating the circumstances might be.

There are three partial defences to murder which may reduce the conviction to voluntary manslaughter which carries a maximum sentence of life and thus allows the judge discretion on sentencing. These partial defences are contained in the Homicide Act 1957 and consist of dimished responsibility, provocation and suicide pact.

A charge for murder requires there to be a proven prior intent to kill. I imagine in this case the Prosecution decided that there was no likelihood of proving this and thus decided to proceed with manslaughter, at which they would secure a conviction. Remember that a verdict of guilty can only be brought if there is absolutely no doubt that there was intent, and there the CPS only go with this if they are absolutely certain of winning.

26th Jan 2013, 14:23
He probably had the same lawyer as the kid who killed his parents.The lawyer asked the court for clemancy for the orphan.So the lawyer probably asked for mercy from this court for the widower :}

Lon More
26th Jan 2013, 14:29
The lawyer asked the court for clemancy for the orphanDid he also claim for compensation because the child was orphaned?

Standard Noise
26th Jan 2013, 16:15
What about the chap (a muslim) reported in today's papers, who raped a 14yo girl after grooming her on the Book of Faces, and was let free by the judge as he didn't know that outside his culture the rape of the girl was against the law.

Now it seems one can hide behind one's religion to aviod imprisonment. How long before the catholic chuch cotton on to that one?

26th Jan 2013, 16:29
outside his culture the rape of the girl was against the law.

I wonder if I could try that defence on a speeding ticket?


26th Jan 2013, 17:35
Obviously this wasn't a comedy sketch but a prediction....


Big Hammer
26th Jan 2013, 18:08
Bring back hanging?

26th Jan 2013, 18:34
Life without parole would be a decent sort of start.

26th Jan 2013, 19:48
@Rail Engineer

For me with malice aforethought'. would be fulfilled by more or less anyone using a hammer on someone's head.

Thereafter I would give them a 70/30% chance of the drop.