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   Case summaries      Abbott v The Queen

Abbott v The Queen [1977] AC 755 Privy Council

Abbott had taken part in a brutal killing following death threats against himself and his mother. He had held the victim whilst she was being attacked with a cutlass and then buried her alive. He was convicted of murder and sentenced to death. He appealed his conviction contending the defence of duress should have been available.

Appeal dismissed and conviction upheld (Lord Wilberforce and Lord Edmund Davies dissenting)
The defence of duress is not available for murder to a principal in the first degree.
Back to lecture outline on the defence of duress in criminal law