R V. CLARKE
The defendant was apprehended for shoplifting after she placed certain items (including a jar of coffee, a jar of mincemeat and butter) into her handbag. She was charged with theft, contrary to Theft Act 1968 c.60, s.1 and was convicted. The Defendant asserted that she had no recollection of doing so and that she must have done so in a bout of absent mindedness and hence, that she had no mens reafor the offence. Medical evidence was adduced to show that she was diabetic and in addition, both her GP and a psychiatrist testified that she was suffering from depression, which was associated (or could be associated) with such bouts of absent mindedness. The trial judge ruled that the appropriate defence was one of insanity.
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