Bratty v AG for Northern Ireland
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Bratty v Attorney-General for Northern Ireland
|Date decided||3 October 1961|
|Full case name||Bratty v Attorney-General for Northern Ireland|
|Citations||1961 UKHL 3|
|Judges sitting||Lord Kilmuir, LC; Lord Tucker; Lord Denning; Lord Morris of Borth-y-Gest; Lord Hodson|
|Cases cited||R v Cottle ( NZLR. 999; R v Kemp  1 QB 399; R v Charlson  1 WLR 317; Woolmington v. DPP  AC 462; R v Tolson (1889) 23 QBD 168; Hill v Baxter  1 QB 277; R v Podola  1 QB 325; A-G for South Australia v Brown  AC 432; R v Byrne (1960) 2 QB 396; DPP v Beard  AC 479 and others|
|Legislation cited||common law|
This case ( AC 386) demonstrates the confusing distinction between 'automotism' and 'insanity' in English law. The defendant was accused of murder and, in defence, pleaded automatism and insanity. He was suffering from psychomotor epilepsy and could, therefore, have suffered involunatary actions. However, the trial judge dismissed the claim of automatism because English law recognizes epilepsy as a form of insanity. The jury did not accept a plea of insanity and Bratty was convicted. The conviction was upheld by both the Court of Appeal and the House of lords.