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The Queen v. Howe 100 CLR 448 High Court of Australia

Howe had killed a man named Millard. He did so after a bout of drinking at the end of which Millard made an alleged indecent assault upon Howe which Howe repelled. They had driven to the scene of these events in a car. After the alleged indecent assault and its repulse, there was some slight scuffle between the two, at the end of which Howe took a rifle out of the car, and shot Millard dead. He was standing some eight or nine paces away from Howe at the time, and with his back to him. Thereafter Howe took Millard's wallet from Millard's pocket, abstracted the money from it and threw the wallet away. His evidence as to his reason for shooting Millard was that he thought that Millard was about to attack him sexually and that he did not think that he could keep Millard off with his hands.


A person who is subjected to a violent and felonious attack and who in endeavouring, by way of self-defence, to prevent the consummation of that attack by force exercises more force than a reasonable man would consider necessary in the circumstances, but no more force than he honestly believes to be necessary in the circumstances, is guilty of manslaughter and not of murder.
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