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R v Bedder [1954] 1 WLR 1116

The appellant killed a prostitute. He was sexually impotent. According to his evidence he had tried to have sexual intercourse with her and failed. She taunted him with his failure and tried to get away from his grasp. In the course of her attempts to do so she slapped him in the face, punched him in the stomach and kicked him in the groin ; whereupon he took a knife out of his pocket and stabbed her twice and caused her death. At his trial for murder he raised the defence of provocation. The jury convicted him of murder. The defendant appealed contending that in assessing whether a reasonable man would have been provoked into acting as the defendant did the jury should consider the affect on an impotent man.

Held:

The appeal was dismissed. The test was held to be entirely subjective no account could be taken of the particular characteristics of the defendant.

NB: This no longer represents good law.
 
Back to lecture outline on the defence of provocation