Criminal Law

Presentation: 10 minute moot
Time limit for moot submissions = 10 minutes

Assessment criteria:
Coursework component 1: Moot
The mark for this component of assessment constitutes 10% of
the overall mark for the module.

Assessment criteria:
Conduct: courtroom manner and etiquette.·
Delivery: presentation and clarity of speech, including suitability of·
Authority: use made of each authority or other literature cited.·
Interventions: ability to deal appropriately with judge’s·
Demonstrate an understanding of the law on the partial defence of·
loss of control.

This component counts for 10% of the final marks for this module.
The moot will be delivered by each student individually. One student
will act for the prosecution (respondent) and one will be acting for the
defence (appellant).
Each student will have 10 minutes to make a submission.


R v Flo Pritchard

Flo Pritchard has been in a volatile relationship with Gordon for 12 years. Gordon is
regularly abusive towards Flo, subjecting her to physical violence and rape. As a
result of many years of physical abuse, Flo suffers from depression and she has been
battling alcoholism for the past 9 years.

One evening, Gordon comes home from work in a temper. When she asks him how
his day was, he shouts at Flo and tells her to mind her own business. He then tells her
that she had better keep out of his way or she’ll be “in for a hiding later”. Terrified, Flo
disappears into the kitchen. She can hear Gordon moving around in the living room
and then she hears him put on the television. After a few hours, all has gone quiet and
Flo decides to risk coming out of the kitchen. She notices that Gordon has fallen
asleep on the sofa. She then goes back into the kitchen and grabs a carving knife.
She approaches Gordon quietly and stabs him in the chest three times. He dies as a

Flo was charged with murder and tried at the Crown Court at Greenwich. She sought
to rely on the defence of loss of control. The trial judge, His Honour Judge Benny,
ruled that the partial defence of loss of control was not available to the defendant
because there was a cooling off period between the provoking words or conduct and
the killing. The jury convicted the defendant of murder. The defendant now appeals to
the Court of Appeal against her conviction on the ground that His Honour Judge
Benny erred in withdrawing the defence of loss of control from the jury’s
consideration. A cooling off period does not preclude the defence of loss of control,
and the defence should have been available in this case.

Your task is to deliver a moot for either the prosecution or the defence arguing in
respect of Flo’s liability. You must explain the basis for your arguments fully in this

A skeleton argument is basically a page or two outlining your case; who you are, what your submissions
are and which authorities you will be using.
Do remember that these are guidelines as to what is the correct procedure of a moot.
How do I address everyone? • Parties:
Court of Appeal/Supreme Court: The Appellants/Respondents • Judge:
Male- Your Lordship/My Lord
Female- Your Ladyship/ My Lady
Plural- Your Lordship/ My lords/The Court • The other team:
My learned friend(s)




R v Flo Pritchard

Your Lordship, I am . . . . . . ..  representing the appellant Fro Pritchard. My Lord the Crown Court at Greenwich convicted Fro Pritchard with murder after his Honour Judge Benny denied her submission for the partial defence of loss of control.


The big issue in question is whether his lordship erred in denying the Flo Pritchard the defence of loss of control.


The decision of the Crown Court at Greenwich went against the Coroners and Justice Acts 2009. The section 54(2) of the Act does not require a sudden loss of control (The National Archives, 2009). The court relied on the provocation Act that was repealed by the Coroners and Justice Act (Card et al., 2013). Thus, the Crown Court at Greenwich consideration that there was a cooling off period is a fact that the court assumed the loss of control to be temporary and sudden.

Instead, the court should have considered whether there was sufficient trigger that would have caused Flo Pritchard to lose control.  My Lord, allow me to consider Section 55 of the Coronary Act that provides a clear guideline on the qualifying trigger. The Section 55(3) directs that the loss of control to be attributed to the fear that serious violence would occur (Child et al., 2015). The Section 55(4) exemplifies the section 55(3) by making clear the loss of control would result from the things said or done that made the plaintiff an exceedingly grave character (Great Britain, 2009). In addition, the action made the D justify that she was seriously wronged.              Your Lordship, the elements of the qualifying trigger, had been sufficiently fulfilled in the case. First, Flo Pritchard had experienced the violence for more than twelve years. Earlier, she had been exposed to physical violence and even rape. Therefore, when Gordon arrives home from work with temper, it is an action enough to instil fear to Flo Pritchard considering what she has experienced previously. Any other action would have terrified her extremely. The Flo requests to know how Gordon day was but she was told to mind her own business. Besides, She is told she would be “in a hiding later” if she failed to keep out of the Gordon’s ways. At this time, Flo Pritchard stayed in the kitchen for hours after which she risked coming out of the kitchen. The warning passed, the previous acts done to her, and the fact that she spent hours in the kitchen due to the threats reveal that she had lost control (Fitz-Gibbon, 2014). The fact that Flo Pritchard feared coming out even when she heard Gordon switch on the television and even after spending hours in the kitchen confirm that, she had not gained her control (Ormerod et al., 2015).

With that, my Lord, I would present some few cases that the honourable judges were faced with a similar issue. In R v, Hatter (2013) the court considered whether the appellate had been exposed to a character who was extremely grave and whether it was justifiable whether the appellant had been seriously wronged (E-Law cases, 2013). In R v Doughty (1986) it was considered that a constant baby cry would amount to an act that would provoke the loss of control (E-Law Resources, 2015).


With the facts presented, I believe that my Lord you are convinced that Flo Pritchard had lost control and there was an adequate trigger for the loss.


I humbly request the court to reverse the decision of the Crown Court at Greenwich that considered the suddenness of the loss of control.

















Card, R., Cross, R., & Jones, P. A. (2014). Card, Cross and Jones criminal law. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Child, J., Ormerod, D. C., & Smith, J. C. (2015). Smith & Hogan’s essentials of criminal law.

E-Law cases. (2013). R v Hatter(2013). Retrieved on 1st September, 2015, from

E-Law Resources. (2015). R v Doughty (1986) 83 Cr App R 319 Court of Appeal. Retrieved on 1st September, 2015,

Fitz-Gibbon, K. (2014). Homicide law reform, gender and the provocation defence: A comparative perspective.

Great Britain. (2009). Legislative scrutiny: Coroners and Justice Bill : report, together with formal minutes and written evidence. London: TSO.

Ormerod, D. C., Laird, K., Hogan, B., & Smith, J. C. (2015). Smith and Hogan’s criminal law.

The National Archives. (2009). Coroners and Justice Acts 2009. Retrieved on 1st September, 2015, from

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