R v S (2016): Murder and life sentence

SCM Law acted for the Defendant S who stood trial for murder in 2016.

In June 2015, a 999 call was made to South Wales Police from concerned relatives who were unable to locate the deceased. Police officers attended at the home address of the deceased and were confronted by her son S who was within the property, and in their opinion heavily intoxicated. Despite some resistance the police were able to gain entry to the property where the deceased’s body was discovered lying in front of a fireplace wrapped in a carpet. The post-mortem that followed determined a cause of death due to a knife injury to the brain.

The Defendant entered a guilty plea to a charge of manslaughter but entered a not guilty plea to the charge of murder. His defence was one of loss of control (Sections 54 and 55 Coroners and Justice Act 2009). A trial took place at the Swansea Crown Court in February 2016 where upon hearing evidence the jury were unable to reach a verdict (“hung jury”).

SCM Law together with Junior and Queen’s Counsel acted for the Defendant at the trial in February 2016 and the subsequent re-trial in April 2016. A number of legal issues were considered during case preparation including self-defence, diminished responsibility and loss of control. There was also a necessity for the instructions of experts in a variety of different medical fields.