R v Clinton [2012]

R v Clinton [2012] EWCA Crim 2 involved a situation where the appellant killed his wife during a meeting where they were supposed to discuss the end of their marriage. The appellant argued that he lost control due to several factors, including his wife's revelation of infidelity and other provocative actions.

The trial judge initially ruled that the defence of loss of control was not available because the infidelity-related words should be disregarded, and the remaining factors were not of an extremely grave character.

However, on appeal, it was held that the defence of loss of control should have been put to the jury. The court emphasised that sexual infidelity, on its own, cannot be relied upon as a qualifying trigger for loss of control. However, the existence of sexual infidelity does not prevent reliance on the defence if other qualifying triggers are present.

The court clarified that where other factors constitute a qualifying trigger, sexual infidelity can be considered in assessing whether the circumstances were of an extremely grave character and whether the defendant had a justifiable sense of being wronged. Additionally, sexual infidelity may be taken into account in the third component of the defence, examining the defendant's circumstances.

As a result of the appeal, the appellant's conviction for murder was quashed, and a retrial was ordered. The case highlights the importance of properly considering and presenting the defence of loss of control when multiple factors contribute to the defendant's actions.
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