Diminished Responsibility is a defence in English and Welsh law.
It means that the person who has committed the crime is not in control of their own actions, and is usually used in mental health-related circumstances.
At the same time it recognises that there is some responsibility on the part of the person committing the crimes - if only that they did not take all reasonable precautions to prevent this or a similar situation from occurring.
A person who is not in control of their actions cannot commit murder.
*(Link content warning: news report with details of Katie's death & her killer's mental state, inc. details of self-harm.)
There are millions of people with mental health problems who never commit ANY crimes. She should not have decided to take things into her own hands as she did.
But the law has already given her the defence she needs, and found her Not Guilty of Murder, but Guilty of Manslaughter on the Grounds of Diminished Responsibility.
But the response from some members of the public shows just how very far mental health education still has to go.
Because baying for the blood of a severely mentally ill 16-year-old girl (15 at the time of the killing,) instead of asking questions about why SHE WAS NOT HELPED shows the worst of this country.
Her mental health had been declining for around a year.
From at least a month before Katie's death (going by the police statement after the verdict,) the killer had believed that various people were robots.
She was not given a full psychiatric assessment, despite being a patient of, and known to, mental health services.
But no, that's not why you're angry. You're angry because she was not charged with murder or (as I saw one Internet commenter preach) was not 'burned alive.'
The anger needs to be directed at a system that failed. A system that allowed one CHILD to become so unwell that she killed another.
And that's so very, very, sad.
Sorry that this week's post was a bit of a downer - but it's very much something that needed to be said.
Wherever you are, I hope you have an awesome day and bring a little kindness and light to this world.
Never give up on hope, 'cos hope never gives up on you. *Hugs*