Mack v Lockwood and Others: ChD 19 Jun 2009

The claimant had been convicted of the manslaughter of his wife. He now applied for relief agsinst forfeiture of his share of her estate. He was elderly and had suffered some mental impairment after a stroke, which might have led him to misjudge his wife’s attack on him and to overreact.
Held: ‘it is not helpful to attach to these tragic events the labels used in the criminal courts to describe full or partial defences to murder. However, if this was not murder, an ordinary member of the public would no doubt regard what Mr Mack did as being so close to it as to make no difference in terms of his culpability. ‘ The murder was brutal, and it was not a case where the application of the rule would either confer an undeserved benefit to a third party, or leave the claimant in poverty. The application was refused.


Geraldine Andrews QC J


[2009] EWHC 1524 (Ch)




Forfeiture Act 1982


England and Wales


CitedLand v Land; In re Land, deceased ChD 13-Jul-2006
The claimant had cared for his elderly mother who ‘shunned any type of ‘officialdom’ including doctors and home helps.’ However, the claimant so neglected her that she suffered severe bed sores which had become infected in consequence of her lying . .
CitedDunbar (As Administrator of Tony Dunbar Deceased) v Plant CA 23-Jul-1997
The couple had decided on a suicide pact. They made repeated attempts, resulting in his death. Property had been held in joint names. The deceased’s father asked the court to apply the 1982 Act to disentitle Miss Plant.
Held: The appeal was . .
CitedRegina v Chief National Insurance Commissioner Ex Parte Connor QBD 1981
The court was asked whether the rule against forfeiture applied so as to disentitle an applicant from receiving a widow’s allowance when she had killed her husband with a knife. She had been held guilty of manslaughter but simply placed on . .
CitedIn Re K (Deceased) CA 1986
The wife who had been subjected to years of abuse shot her violent husband dead in the course of an argument, when a loaded shotgun she had picked up and pointed at him as a threat to deter him from offering her further violence went off . .
CitedRe H (Deceased) 1990
The Plaintiff had stabbed his wife to death while acting under a delusion induced by a reaction to a drug that he had been prescribed.
Held: Public policy did not require in every case of the manslaughter of a spouse that the forfeiture rule . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Wills and Probate, Crime

Updated: 03 August 2022; Ref: scu.347453