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R v Morhall [1995] 3 WLR 330 House of Lords

The appellant stabbed a man seven times after he taunted him about his addiction to glue sniffing. The question for the court was whether the defendant who was precluded from saying that his addiction was a characteristic could be taken into account when considering the objective test, because such a characteristic was inconsistent with the concept of the reasonable man.

The House of Lords rejected that approach, holding that a characteristic such as this should not be excluded merely because it was discreditable. In so holding, the House invoked Lord Diplock's statement that the "reasonable man" in the section should be understood to be a person with the ordinary person 's power of self-control, but in other respects sharing such of the defendant's characteristics as the jury might think would affect the gravity of the provocation to him.

The House drew a distinction between one who is taunted about an addiction who is provoked into losing their self control and one who, because of their intoxicated state, more readily loses their self control.
 
Back to lecture outline on the defence of provocation