Kordian Filmanowicz was charged with the murder of his maternal grandmother. At his trial, the prosecution accepted a plea to manslaughter on grounds of diminished responsibility. After hearing from psychiatric experts on both sides and accepting that the defendant’s culpability was low, the judge was persuaded not to pass a hybrid prison sentence under 45A of the Mental Health Act 1983, despite submissions by the prosecution as to the potential suitability of such a disposal.  Instead, he made a section 37 hospital order with a section 41 restriction, as contended for by the defence. This was one of the first diminished responsibility sentences following the decision in Edwards [2018] 4 WLR 64, in which the Court of Appeal clarified that although a hybrid prison sentence was the first option for the judge to consider in such cases, it was not the “default sentence” for all offenders.

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Mark Cotter QC is a specialist in serious and complex criminal cases. He undertakes a significant amount of private work and has, for many years, been ranked in Chambers and Partners as a leader in the field of crime at the London Bar. Mark is also ranked in the Legal 500 as a leading individual in the field of crime at the London Bar.

David McNeill has extensive experience of serious criminal cases and is also ranked in Chambers and Partners. Filmanowicz was his second case within 6 months involving a defendant who denies carrying out a killing but, according to psychiatric evidence, would qualify for the defence of diminished responsibility.