In this scenario, could a woman claim self defence?

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Anonymous #1
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I know the uk law on carrying knives is firm but where would a woman stand, as a defendant in the following scenario.

Say she was out running (and habitually took a knife with her for self defence). She was suddenly attacked (as in she feared for her life) by either a man/woman, used the knife and killed him/her.

Would she be able to claim self defence or would there be repercussions for her?
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xDmochi
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(Original post by Anonymous)
I know the uk law on carrying knives is firm but where would a woman stand, as a defendant in the following scenario.

Say she was out running (and habitually took a knife with her for self defence). She was suddenly attacked (as in she feared for her life) by either a man/woman, used the knife and killed him/her.

Would she be able to claim self defence or would there be repercussions for her?
There would most definitely be some kind of trial, as “fearing for her life” isn’t a good claim for killing someone. There’s been multiple cases of black men being killed for doing nothing because people “feared their life” even thought they weren’t attacking anyone. More info needed. But most likely no
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nexttime
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How certain are we that it is self defence? To go out illegally carrying a knife that is then used to kill someone would bring the suspicion that this was a premeditated murder down really hard.
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xDmochi
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Also sounds like someone made a oopsie
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JaseyB
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(Original post by Anonymous)
I know the uk law on carrying knives is firm but where would a woman stand, as a defendant in the following scenario.

Say she was out running (and habitually took a knife with her for self defence). She was suddenly attacked (as in she feared for her life) by either a man/woman, used the knife and killed him/her.

Would she be able to claim self defence or would there be repercussions for her?
There would be repercussions for sure, under UK law it would be exceptional to get away with killing someone, you are entitled to use reasonable force to defend yourself but stabbing someone is a little more than reasonable force, perhaps look into getting a personal alarm or some form of pepper spary instead of a knife. Also if you are running with a knife you are already putting yourself into a dangerous situation.
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Gaddafi
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(Original post by Anonymous)
I know the uk law on carrying knives is firm but where would a woman stand, as a defendant in the following scenario.

Say she was out running (and habitually took a knife with her for self defence). She was suddenly attacked (as in she feared for her life) by either a man/woman, used the knife and killed him/her.

Would she be able to claim self defence or would there be repercussions for her?
You cannot break the law because you just happen to be scared - carrying a knife is just that. Whether or not the law on carrying weaponry is moral is a different issue, but it is the law none the less.

The prosecution will have a field day with this one. The argument will be that it clearly wasn't "self defense" if she was already carrying a knife on her.
Last edited by Gaddafi; 3 months ago
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Gaddafi
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(Original post by JaseyB)
There would be repercussions for sure, under UK law it would be exceptional to get away with killing someone, you are entitled to use reasonable force to defend yourself but stabbing someone is a little more than reasonable force, perhaps look into getting a personal alarm or some form of pepper spary instead of a knife. Also if you are running with a knife you are already putting yourself into a dangerous situation.
That is also illegal.
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by Gaddafi)
You cannot break the law because you just happen to be scared - carrying a knife is just that. Whether or not the law on carrying weaponry is moral is a different issue, but it is the law none the less.

The prosecution will have a field day with this one. The argument will be that it clearly wasn't "self defense" if she was already carrying a knife on her.
What would the defence argue?
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Rufus the red
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It would depend but I wouldn't fancy her chances.
You don't specify the nature of the attacker. If they were not aiming to kill or rape her (although them being dead would stop them being able to necessarily claim otherwise) then she would probably be in a worse position.
If they were armed in a similar or worse nature and appeared to have intent to murder or rape her she would have her best chances but that would rely on her being aware of their possession of the weapon.
The knife she used would also be important as a craft knife or pen knife probably wouldn't be viewed as dimly as a kitchen or even serrated knife.

The fact that she killed them despite being on a run suggests that she had to stand still and actively remove the knife from a pocket rather than continue running. If she had been leapt on I doubt she would have been able to reach the knife so I would be inclined to believe that she ended up facing off against someone with a knife or simply plunging it into them or slashing at them without checking that they were similarly armed or even trying to attack her.

Due to the nature of this I would probably assume she would face some sort of repercussions.
Last edited by Rufus the red; 3 months ago
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Gaddafi
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(Original post by Rufus the red)
The fact that she killed them despite being on a run suggests that she had to stand still and actively remove the knife from a pocket rather than continue running. If she had been leapt on I doubt she would have been able to reach the knife so I would be inclined to believe that she ended up facing off against someone with a knife or simply plunging it into them or slashing at them without checking that they were similarly armed or even trying to attack her.

Due to the nature of this I would probably assume she would face some sort of repercussions.

(Original post by Anonymous)
What would the defence argue?
Self defence. But as pointed out very well by Rufus above that's on quite shaky grounds.

Now, you are allowed to use reasonable force (and that can include killing) if you are within danger. To justify killing as reasonable your life has to be in imminent danger (or at least you have good belief that it is) and you must not have other reasonable options.

Why did you not keep running? Why do you suddenly stop and pull out a knife? Is the other person even armed? If so, how did you know he was armed?

You will certainly face punishment for carrying a weapon and more likely then not an additional charge for murder or manslaughter.
Last edited by Gaddafi; 3 months ago
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Joleee
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your scenario is too simplistic. what is considered self defense is decided on a case-by-case. was there nothing else the victim could do to get away from her attacker and did she use the minimum level of force needed, or does she have the mens rea for murder or manslaughter? probably not murder, but perhaps unlawful and dangerous act manslaughter if she's already carrying an illegal weapon.

if on the other hand she can escape a murder/manslaughter charge, she won't escape possession of a weapon charge, so yes there will be repercussions. obviously, because if there were none we'd now have made carrying a knife legalised and it would be contrary to the Serious Crime Act 2015.
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V℮rsions
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Probably not no man
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YaliaV123
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Where did you put the body?
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londonmyst
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It would depend on the context of the situation and the specific criminal charges on the indictment.
Plenty of other factors involved in determining how viable the claim of self-defence to murder or manslaughter would be considered by the police/cps/jury.

Whether the police & cps feel that there is a case to answer with a realistic prospect of conviction.
If a prosecution would be in the public interest, whether the defendant is deemed to be unfit to plead or lacking mental capacity.
In the event of affirmative answers to the above whether the majority of the jury are willing to convict in relation to murder/manslaughter/attempted murder.

It is likely that the woman would face additional criminal charges in relation to possession of the knife.
Particularly if she has made admissions indicating she is in the habit of either: unlawfully having a bladed article in a public place or carrying an offensive weapon in public without lawful authority/reasonable excuse.
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Flors
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This is sketchy. OP are you planning on using self defence to get out of whatever you may be planning to do?
Also what are you planning to do?
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