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Infidelity ‘can provoke murder’

Infidelity ‘can provoke murder’

A jury should be allowed to consider infidelity as a possible reason for murder, although other so-called triggers must also be shown in a court case, the UK’s most senior judge has said.

The comments by Lord Chief Justice Lord Judge go against recent changes to the law.

The previous Labour government removed the use of infidelity as provocation by an accused person, instead allowing a partial defence of “loss of control” which could be construed as being driven by a person’s fear of violence or “justifiable sense of being seriously wronged”.

The judge had criticised the legislative change introduced by deputy Labour leader Harriet Harman in 2009, despite opposition from his fellow judges and peers. Lord Judge said not allowing a jury to take infidelity into account is “unrealistic and carries with it the potential for injustice”.

His comments could lead to the notion of “a crime of passion” being reintroduced to the courtroom. He added: “Unfortunately there are aspects of the legislation which, to put it with appropriate deference, are likely to produce surprising results.”

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