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(1)Where a person is arraigned on an indictment—
(a)he shall in all cases be entitled to make a plea of not guilty in addition to any demurrer or special plea;
(b)he may plead not guilty of the offence specifically charged in the indictment but guilty of another offence of which he might be found guilty on that indictment;
(c)if he stands mute of malice or will not answer directly to the indictment, the court may order a plea of not guilty to be entered on his behalf, and he shall then be treated as having pleaded not guilty.
(2)Where, on a person's trial on indictment for any offence except treason, capital murder or murder, the jury find him not guilty of the offence specificially charged in the indictment, but the allegations in the indictment amount to or include (expressly or by implication) an allegation of another offence falling within the jurisdiction of the court of trial, the jury may find him guilty of that other offence or of an offence of which he could be found guilty on an indictment specifically charging that other offence.
(3)For the purposes of the last foregoing subsection any allegation of an offence shall be taken as including an allegation of attempting to commit that offence; and where a person is charged on indictment with attempting to commit an offence or with any assault or other act preliminary to an offence, but not with the completed offence, then (subject to the discretion of the court to discharge the jury[F1 or otherwise act] with a view to the preferment of an indictment for the completed offence) he may be convicted of the offence charged notwithstanding that he is shown to be guilty of the completed offence.
(4)…F2, on an indictment for murder a person found not guilty of murder may be found guilty—
(a)of manslaughter, or of causing grievous bodily harm with intent to do so; or
(b)of any offence of which he may be found guilty under an enactment specifically so providing, or under section 4(2); or
(c)of an attempt to commit murder, or of an attempt to commit any other offence of which he might be found guilty;
but may not be found guilty of any offence not included above.
Subs.(5) rep. by 1973 c.53
(6)Any power to bring proceedings for an offence by criminal information in the High Court is hereby abolished.
(7)Subsections (1) to (4) above …F2, shall apply to an indictment containing more than one count as if each count were a separate indictment.
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