Source: All England Reporter
Publisher Citation: [2011] All ER (D) 72 (Jan)
Neutral Citation: [2011] EWCA Crim 5
Court: Court of Appeal, Criminal Division

Lord Judge CJ, Calvert-Smith and Griffith Williams JJ

Representation Edward Fitzgerald QC and Paul Bowen (assigned by the Registrar of Criminal Appeal) for the defendant.
  Peter Wright QC and Adrian Darbishire (instructed by the Crown Prosecution Service) for the Crown.
Judgment Dates: 14 January 2011


Sentence - Imprisonment - Minimum term - Mitigating factors - Murder - Defendant being accused of serial murders - Jury rejecting defence of diminished responsibility - Defendant being convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment - Home Secretary referring case to High Court for minimum term to be set - High Court making whole life order - Defendant appealing and seeking reduction in sentence on ground of mental disorder - Whether mental disorder constituting mitigating factor to be considered under new statutory regime - Whether burden of proof on prosecution to disprove existence of mental disorder - .

The Case

Sentence Imprisonment. The Court of Appeal, Criminal Division, held, in dismissing the Yorkshire Ripper's appeal against a whole life sentence on the ground that, at the relevant time, he suffered from a mental disorder and where the jury had rejected his defence of diminished responsibility, that matters advanced in defence which, by the jury's verdict, had been rejected, could not constitute mitigation. Even accepting that an element of mental disturbance had been intrinsic to the commission of the crimes, the interests of justice required nothing less than a whole life order.

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