Ed Vickers QC, instructed by Matt Hayes of Bhatia Best, secured the acquittal of Shane Seymour after a murder trial at Nottingham Crown Court.
Mr Seymour accepted killing his nephew by stabbing him a number of times in the chest with a kitchen knife, but denied murder, the defence being diminished responsibility. The case involved a complex domestic background; and the evidence of a psychologist and two expert psychiatrists who, whilst agreeing that Mr Seymour’s learning disabilities amounted to an abnormality of functioning of mind, could not agree initially on whether that supported a defence of diminished responsibility.
After a week of evidence, resulting in disclosure of further material, the prosecution expert changed his opinion, now agreeing that the defence of diminished responsibility was made out: a combination of a series of events and the effect of the learning disabilities led to a sudden loss of control. As a result, the prosecution offered no further evidence.
The jury acquitted the defendant and, after hearing mitigation, the Judge sentenced Mr Seymour to 7yrs 4ms imprisonment for manslaughter.