Sentence takes note of context

2007-12-12 00:00

JUDGE Chris Nicholson referred in his judgment to numerous decisions in similar cases to that of McIntosh in which sentences ranged from no incarceration to as much as 20 years’ imprisonment.

He said that in his view, McIntosh never constituted a danger to society and a lengthy period of imprisonment would not be appropriate in her case.

“I believe one must adopt a contextual approach that takes cognisance of the socio-economic reality and constraints faced by abused women when imposing sentence on abused women who kill their abusive partners.

“While it may not excuse, in law, the conduct of abused women who feel forced to kill in circumstances where they reasonably believe their own lives to be at stake, it significantly affects the moral culpability of their conduct.

“Consequently it affects the appropriate sentence in such cases,” the judge said.

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