Mary Wakefield

Good news for women killers

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The one fact that screams out of the proposed murder law shake-up, is that it's great news for girls. Reform is overdue -- there hasn't been any change in the law for 50 years -- but the picture that emerges from all the crunchy details is especially cheering for chicks.

That centuries-old defence of 'provocation' will be binned, which puts paid to the classic male excuse: "But she cheated on me!" And however sympathetic a judge, neither 'constant nagging' nor 'she flirted with other blokes' will cut any ice.

There are, on the other hand, about 30 women killers every year who claim that ongoing domestic brutality drove them to it. In the past they've had no defence, but they will now be able to plead: 'fear of serious violence'.

Are the changes fair? Do they discriminate against men?

No. I don't think so. I'm truly not a feminist, but I don't think women are natural killers. If a girl whacks her husband, it's most likely because she's living in fear of her life, so it's only sensible for the law to reflect this.