The Abused Teenager

March 26, 2024

By the time we came to represent Emma Humphreys, she had spent the whole of her adult life – 10 years – in prison for the murder of her partner, Trevor Armitage. Her case – one of the most appalling cases of violence, mental torment, sexual exploitation and gang-rape to have reached the courts – came to light after she learnt of the great public campaigns for Kiranjit Ahluwahlia and Sara Thornton conducted by Southall Black Sisters and Justice for Women.

In a landmark decision, the Court of Appeal recognised not only the effects of cumulative provocation, as opposed merely to the last act of provocation, but also that in considering the reasonableness of her last fatal strike, the jury ought to have been directed to consider the characteristics Emma had developed as a result of her own personal history.

Judgements and media

or the judgment of the Court of Appeal, see: 

R v Humphreys [1995] 4 All ER 1008

For a very small selection of a plethora of media reports in what became a landmark case, see:

For a powerful exposition of Emma’s life, see:

The Map of My Life: The Story of Emma Humphreys by Julie Bindel and Harriet Wistrich (paperback), 31 October 2003 

For a retrospective examination of the case and of other cases, see:

Gupta, Rahila (12 January 2015). “Women defenders of human rights: the good, the great and the gutsy” OpenDemocracy