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R v Bingham [1991] Crim LR 43

The appellant, a diabetic, was charged with theft of a can of coke and some sandwiches. At the time of the offence he was suffering from hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar level due to an excess of insulin) causing him to be absent minded and lacking in full consciousness. He had £90 in his pocket at the time. The trial judge wrongly held that this gave rise to the defence of insanity. The appellant pleaded guilty and appealed the judge's ruling.

Held:

The appeal was allowed and the appellant's conviction was quashed. The automatism was induced by an external factor of insulin rather than the internal disease of diabetes. The correct defence therefore, was non-insane automatism.
 
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