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This table is intended to be used as a guide only. Individual cases should be read if they are to be relied upon.

 

Manslaughter - Diminished Responsibility
Offence committed before 3.4.1998

 Section 23A was amended on 3.4.1998 to replace Diminished Responsibility with Substantial Impairment. The Amended section applies to alleged offences committed after the date of the amendment. 

Case

(age if known)

TypeBasisPleaRecordSentenceAppealFacts

Low

(1991) 57 A Crim R 8

Diminished responsibility

Provocation

Assault - domestic

brain damage as result of attack by V with hammerVG Bond

Crown AA

MT 2y

AT 2y

Killed fiancée with claw hammer after she first attacked him - brain damage as result of attack by V with hammer

Philp

NSWSC

Abadee J

18.2.1991

Diminished responsibility

Stabbing domestic

Fight

schizophrenia - did not take medicationPG 

MT 7y 6m

AT 2y 6m

 

Stabbed sister's de facto during fight - when threatened with spade handle retrieved knives from kitchen and inflicted 16 stab wounds - some degree of provocation

History of mental illness - schizophrenia - did not take medication

Ulgun

NSWCCA

5.3.1991

Diminished responsibility

Shooting - domestic

paranoid schizophreniaPGnil

MT 15y

AT 5y

AA

MT 12y

AT 4y

Fired ten shots at neighbours believing them to be contract killers

Falconetti

NSW SC

(Mathews J)

21.6.1991

 

NSWCCA

24.3.1992

Diminished responsibility

Stabbing - general

paranoid schizophreniaPG 

MT 5y 6m

AT 11y 6m

AD

Unprovoked attack on visitor to uncle's farm - irrational belief that visitor had been involved in aunt's death - after stabbing slashed wrists and stabbed himself in abdominal region.

Long history of mental illness and associated behaviour - real concern about danger to community.

Shephard

NSWCCA

15.7.1991

Diminished responsibility

Assault - domestic

brain damage resulting from alcohol abusePGNil significant

MT 4y

AT 16m

AD

Killed wife with hammer.

No previous violence towards wife

Troja

NSWCCA

16.7.1991

Diminished responsibility

Shooting - domestic

depressive illnessVGnil

MT 8y

AT 4y

ADShot husband who was having affair and wanted divorce – shot through glass door with rifle

Fryer

NSWCCA

17.3.1992

Diminished Responsibility

Assault - general

IQ of 62 - difficulty maintaining independent life

PG

 

Robbery

Assault

Arson

 

MT 14y

AT 10y

ADFatally bashed one man, and assaulted four other victims with two co offenders during 'rumbles' - planned to attract publicity.

Gardner

NSWSC

Wood J

27.3.1992

Diminished Responsibility

Provocation

Shooting - domestic

Extreme use of mechanisms of denial and repression developed to cope with major childhood traumasPG 7y GBB 

Shot husband under extreme stress – husband very ill with MS and physically dependent - child suffered cerebral palsy and was also utterly dependent - V terrorised offender and kept gun beside bed – shot V once, then buried and reported him as missing

Son died in lead-up to trial - pregnant at time of sentencing - wholly exceptional case.

Hietikko

NSWCCA

18.6.1992

Diminished Responsibility

Stabbing - general

Chronic paranoid schizophrenia and chronic alcohol abusePG 

16 y

NPP 12y

Sentence translated

MT 7y 7m 2d

AT 2y 6m 2d

Struck foreman with hammer and stabbed him with knife brought from home.

Brown

NSW SC

McInerney J

19.3.1993

Arson

Diminished Responsibility

brain damage from birth - aggressive slow learner - pyromaniaVGPriors

MT 8y

AT 8y

 Six killed in Backpackers Hostel

Clements

(18)

NSWCCA

8.6.1993

Diminished responsibility

Assault - general

Paranoid schizophrenic with mental disabilitiesPG 

MT 7y 6m

AT 9y 6m

ADKicked and bashed homeless old man to death with co -offender then torched body

Chayna

(1993) 66 A Crim R 178

Diminished responsibility

Young child

Stabbing - domestic

Major depressive illness

VG

3 x Murder

  

Conviction AA

3 x manslaughter substituted:

 

MT 6y

AT 6y

Female invited sister-in-law to house and subjected her to 'frenzied attack', hiding body in backyard - later that night stabbed own daughter and left body in room for two days - stabbed second daughter two days later when she returned from camp.

Evers

NSWCCA

16.6.1993

Diminished responsibility

Shooting - general

severe personality disorder/close to psychotic/ tendency to transient psychosis  triggered by stress or drugs (three overlapping disorders)VGnil

MT 18y

AT 7y

AD

Shot five people in units after believing V called him 'dole bludger'.

Not treatable and danger to community -

Keceski

(33)

NSWCCA

10.8.1993

Diminished responsibility

Assault - domestic

Depressive illnessVGno significant

MT 10y

AT 3y 4m

AD

 

Special leave to HC refused

Broke into house and bashed ex girlfriend to death with glass decanter

Haynes

NSW SC

Studdert J

25.3.1994

Diminished responsibility

Young child

Assault - domestic

Obsessive personality and depressive disorder - news from children triggered catastrophic depression

PG

2 x mansl

driving offence

MT 6y

AT 6y

 Strangled and suffocated daughter and step-daughter during access after argument with estranged wife - children told him they could not see him again and had been subjected to sexual abuse

Gombar

(70)

NSW SC

Wood J

16.6.1994

Diminished responsibility

Shooting - general

Paranoid psychosis  or paranoid personality disorder - resulting in grossly abnormal ideas

PG

Mansl

Mal wound

nil

MT 6y

AT 5y

 Shot 2 friends celebrating his birthday - set fire to unit and shot self - concerned victims had stolen from him and intended to kill him

Forsyth

(20)

NSWSC

Finlay J

26.7.1994

Diminished responsibility

Assault - domestic

Brain damage as result of assault - loss of self controlPG 

MT 4y

AT 4y

 Bashed / strangled girlfriend's mother

Barnett

(1994) 71 A Crim R 515

Diminished responsibility

Shooting – domestic

Young child

Brain damage as a result of car accident - loss of self control

VG

murder

  

Conviction AA

Manslaughter substituted:

 

MT 8y

AT 2y

Minding two step children while working as security guard - children arguing and shot step son at point blank range

Josifovski

NSWSC

Smart J

25.1.1995

Diminished responsibility

Stabbing - domestic

Paranoid delusional disorderPG 

MT 6y 9m

AT 6y 6m

 

Stabbed wife 51 times after she refused to have sex with him - considered killing himself but taken to police by relatives

History of mental illness and paranoia – history of violent acts towards V and threats on her life - Yugoslav migrant.

Barton

NSWCCA

28.7.1995

Diminished responsibility

Stabbing - domestic

Intellectual (IQ of 67) and personality deficits meant inability to respond appropriately to attack

PG

 

Sched:

Mal Wound

Ass

 

MT 8y

AT 8y

AA

MT 5y

AT 5y

During visit was attacked by elderly and mentally retarded neighbour with knife - responded by stabbing neighbour 24 times.

Blacklidge

(66)

NSWCCA

12.12.1995

Diminished responsibility

Shooting - general

Degenerative brain disease - paranoid delusionsPGnil

MT 2y

AT 3y

Crown AA

MT 4y

AT 4y

Wrongly believed neighbour having affair with wife – shot without provocation

Hunt

NSW SC

Hidden J

2.4.1996

Diminished responsibility

Young child

General

Borderline personality disorder - symptoms of Munchausen's Syndrome by ProxyPGnil

MT 3y

AT 4y

 Mother poisoned son on four occasions over several weeks

Grierson

NSWCCA

28.10.1996

Diminished responsibility

Young child

Assault - domestic

Borderline personality disorderPGno relevant convictions

MT 3y

AT 3y

 Mother threw child across room - one-off episode

Carlson

NSWCCA

25.11.1996

Diminished responsibility

Assault - domestic

Permanent brain damage from car accident and alcohol - reduced self controlPGlong record, bond for DV

MT 11y

AT 5y

ADAssaulted de facto wife - substantial number of blows - violent relationship characterised by alcohol abuse - some provocative statements from V prior to attack.

Cassel

(26)

NSWSC

Bruce J

14.3.1997

Diminished Responsibility

Fight

Stabbing - general

Manic depressivePGnilMT 5y
AT 3y
 Stabbed stranger in stomach after fight over boat - tried suicide twice.

EJ

(49)

NSWCCA

1.4.1997

Diminished Responsibility

Stabbing - domestic

Manic depressive, bipolar affective disorder

PG

Mansl

2 x Att murder

nil

MT 12y

AT 6y

AA

MT 9y

AT 3y

Killed wife and attacked two daughters with tomahawk

In financial difficulties and concerned could not provide for family.

Cooper

NSWCCA

24.2.1998

Diminished Responsibility

Shooting - general

Major depressive dissociative state - elements of brainwashing by co-offender's father

VG

 

Arson

 

MT 12y

AT 6y

ADOffences committed at instigation of co-accused's father - burnt down house of rival and executed V at his home – co-accused acquitted.

Horan

(45)

NSW SC

Hidden J

20.3.1998

Diminished Responsibility

Shooting - general

Paranoid schizophrenicPGold record - irrelevant

MT 16y

AT 6y

 

(earliest release date 30.3.2002)

 

Re-determination under s13A

1986 - manslaughter, wound with intent to murder, 5 x shoot at police with intent to murder, common assault.

Behaving strangely day of offence - police despatched to find offender at request of family - fired at them repeatedly until emptied rifle.

Some rehabilitation but psychiatric state still major concern.

Swindale

(57)

NSWCCA

22.6.1998

Diminished Responsibility

Shooting - general

Organic personality disorder resulting from brain damage caused by accident and alcohol abusePGalcohol related - no serious violence

MT 10y

AT 10y

AA

MT 9y

AT 3y

After argument over generator shot V in knee and head.

Concerns raised about dangerousness

Gunes

[1999] NSWSC 130

Newman J

Diminished responsibility

Arson

depression, paranoid schizophreniaPGassault - not relevant.

MT 5y

AT 7y

 

Poured petrol over father and set him alight

Longstanding family dispute - history of mental illness

Korhonen

(16)

[1999] NSWSC 933

Hulme J

 

(K)

[2000] NSWCCA 24

Diminished responsibility

Provocation

Juvenile

Stabbing - domestic

Developmental delays and profoundly disturbed - appalling childhood - gross psychiatric disturbances - ill equipped to deal with stressVGinsignificant4y GBBCrown AD

Stabbed man he had been staying with. - week before had been sodomised by V – element of provocation

Positive evidence of rehabilitation

Duthie

(35)

[1999] NSWSC 1224

Newman J

Diminished responsibility

Assault - general

Suffering chronic schizophreniaPGlong criminal record

MT 5y

AT 3y

 

Strangled friend/cell mate in suicide pact - both prisoners on remand and intended to commit suicide – euthanasia

Hepatitis C.

Bryant

(31)

[2000] NSWSC 245

Dowd J

Diminished responsibility

Stabbing - domestic

delusional paranoid schizophrenic stateVGnil for violence

MT 7y

AT 4y

 

Stabbed ex-girlfriend and cut her throat during argument - sentenced to concurrent 2 years for mal inflict GBH for assaulting male in face with baseball bat.

Long history of mental illness and drug addiction

Carroll

(25)

[2000] NSWSC 410

Greg James J

Diminished responsibility

Shooting - general

borderline personality disorder and/or acute depression

PG

Mansl

 

Sched:

Assault

Possess firearm

nil relevant

12y

NPP 7y 6m

 

Aboriginal male shot male stranger in neck and chest.

Suicide attempts - epileptic and drug and alcohol issues.

Fiu

(25)

NSWSC

Ireland J

1.6.2000

Diminished responsibility

Provocation

Stabbing - domestic

Depression

VG

(at murder trial – offered to plead to mansl)

nil

7y

NPP 3y 6m

 

Stabbed lover when he told her he would not marry her and did not love her - provoked by fact that V used her for sexual gratification only - high order of impairment to mental responsibility - depression

Attempted to kill self - West Samoan female - genuine remorse

PRFN

(15)

[2000] NSWCCA 230

Diminished responsibility

Juvenile

Shooting - general

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and major depressive disorderVG 

MT 3y

AT 3y

ADAnally raped by V when 14y old - V continued to make sexual overtures - devastating effect - became obsessed that V would hurt baby nephew - killing carefully implemented - lured V to farm and shot him - element of revenge

Veen

28 (45)

[2000] NSWSC 656

Sully J

Diminished responsibility

Stabbing - general

brain damage and alcohol abuseVGnon fatal stabbing in 1971 and stabbing mansl in 1975 (DR).

Life

 

Re-determination

MT 20y

Life

 

Redetermination of life sentence

1983: stabbed homosexual male victim in flat - agreed initially to have sex but became angry and stabbed victim in rage

Aboriginal - fostered at young age and subjected to sexual abuse in early teens - brain damage and alcohol abuse - offence committed 9 months after release on licence for earlier manslaughter - issue of dangerousness.

Bowtell

(17 at offence- 29 at re-sentence)

[2000] NSWSC 803

Hidden J

Diminished responsibility

Assault - general

Borderline personality disorderPGon bail for AR at time of offence

Life

 

Re-determination

MT 21y

NPP 15y

(earliest release date 23.9.2003)

 

Redetermination of life sentence

1988: dragged 81y female V into nearby yard - bashed her to death, and brutally sexually assaulted her - left naked body in bin

After initial struggle in jail marked improvement in behaviour - diagnosed with ADD and good rehabilitation - genuine remorse - real danger to society

Ko

(26)

[2000] NSWSC 1130

Kirby J

Diminished responsibility

Provocation.

Stabbing - domestic

major depressionPGNil

4y

NPP 18m

 

Stabbed husband 17 times - married V after he sexually assaulted her - unhappy and violent marriage - V forced offender to have abortion and seeking divorce - offender isolated and suffering major depression - attempted suicide.

Exemplary life prior to offence - model prisoner - genuine remorse

Lever

(36)

[2001] NSWSC 1131

Bell J

Diminished responsibility

Assault - domestic

delusional disorder

VG

(murder trial - 'credit' for offer to plea)

prior serious assaults on wife although lengthy gap until onset of illness

10y

NPP 6y

[8m PSC]

 

Bashed wife to death inflicting 200 blows - used body, strap and baton to inflict blows - severe and horrific assault - suffering from delusional disorder - intent to inflict GBH.

Called ambulance and found grieving and contrite - Aboriginal with excellent standing in community - much hope for rehabilitation.