Automatism this defence is a branch of the Mental Impairment defence. It can be used where the Accused committed the offence/s involuntarily, i.e. they had no control over their actions.
There are 2 types of automatism:
- ‘Insane Automatism’ where the automatism is caused by a ‘disease of mind’ or mental illness, e.g. schizophrenia, brain injury or tumour.
- ‘Sane Automatism’ where the automatism is caused by something other than a ‘disease of mind’, e.g. concussion, hypoglycaemia or drug induced psychosis.