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R v O'Connor [1991] Crim LR 135 Court of Appeal

The appellant was convicted of murder. At the time of the killing he was intoxicated and believed that he was under attack. He appealed against his conviction on the ground that the judge failed to mention the effect of intoxication on self defence.


When a defendant because of self- induced intoxication formed the mistaken belief that it was necessary to use force to defend himself, a plea of self-defence failed O'Grady was binding on this point. The appeal was, however, allowed and the conviction for murder replaced by a conviction for manslaughter on the ground that the judge failed to direct the jury that self-induced drunkenness could have the effect of preventing the defendant from forming the specific intent that is an element of the crime of murder.
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