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Not guilty by reason of insanity


Christopher Harding secures unusual Special Verdict of Not Guilty by reason of Insanity, in murderous knife attack case.


The trial followed the procedure laid down in the Trial of Lunatics Act 1883. The burden of proof is on the defence to satisfy a jury that, at the time he committed the acts charged, a defendant was insane, so as not to be responsible in law for his actions.


The jury in the Crown Court at St Albans was persuaded that changes to the defendant's schizophrenia medication caused him to have a psychotic episode, in which he responded to voices commanding him to kill his neighbour.


Christopher was instructed by Anne Woodcock.

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