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SOMNAMBULISM, med. juris. Sleep walking.
     2. This is sometimes an inferior species of insanity, the patient being unconscious of what he is doing. A case is mentioned of a monk who was remarkable for simplicity, candor and probity, while awake, but who during his sleep in the night, would steal, rob, and even plunder the dead. Another case is related of a pious clergyman, who during his sleep, would plunder even his own church. And a case occurred in Maine, where the somnambulist attempted to hang himself, but fortunately tied the rope to his feet, instead of his neck. Ray. Med. Jur. Sec. 294.
     3. It is evident, that if an act should be done by a sleep walker, while totally unconscious of his act, he would not be liable to punishment, because the intention (q.v.) and will (q.v.) would be wanting. Take, for example, the following singular case: A monk late one evening, in the presence of the prior of the convent, while in a state of somnambulism, entered the room of the prior, his eyes open but fixed, his features contracted into a frown, and with a knife in his hand. He walked straight up to the bed, as if to ascertain if the prior were there, and then gave three stabs, which penetrated the bed clothes, and a mat which served for the purpose of a mattress; he returned. with an air of satisfaction, and his features relaxed. On being questioned the next day by the prior as to what he had dreamed the preceding night, the monk confessed he had dreamed that his mother had been murdered by the prior, and that her spirit had appeared to him and cried for vengeance, that he was transported with fury at the sight, and ran directly to stab the assassin; that shortly after be awoke covered with perspiration, and rejoiced to find it was only a dream. Georget, Des Maladies Mentales, 127.
     4. A similar case occurred in England, in the last century. Two persons, who had been hunting in the day, slept together at night; one of them was renewing the chase in his dream, and, imagining himself present at the death of the stag, cried out aloud, "I'll kill him! I'll kill him!" The other, awakened by the noise, got out of bed, and, by the light of the moon, saw the sleeper give several deadly stabs, with a knife, on the part of the bed his companion had just quitted. Harvey's Meditations on the Night, note 35; Guy, Med. Jur. 265.

References in periodicals archive ?
The force have been called eight times for sleepwalking incidents since January last year.
While this is not presently enshrined in MoD policy, sleepwalking beyond the age of 13 is grounds for medical disqualification.
Mr Robinson, 49, said his wife had been prone to sleepwalking for ten years and had previously been admitted to hospital after injuring herself.
The prevalence of sleepwalking may he as high as 17% in childhood with peak age of 8-12 years (another reason riot to decrease the legal age of driving and for that matter drinking alcohol).
Gwyn Lewis, defending, said: "It is obviously a very unusual case, with Mr Clegg, being a sleepwalker, and sleepwalking at the time.
I don't know what has happened and assumptions that he was sleepwalking are baseless," he said.
The premise of sleepwalking allows Skoz to find himself in any situation without the need for explanation or tedious scene setting.
Well, apparently, the poor girl has been sleepwalking ever since her childhood.
13) Parasomnias include nightmare disorder, sleep terror disorder, and sleepwalking disorder.
According to Wikipedia, sleepwalking -- also called somnambulism or noctambulism -- is a sleep disorder that makes sufferers engage in activities that are normally associated with being awake, while being asleep or in a sleep-like state.
A MAN was acquitted of sexually assaulting a young girl after medical experts said he was sleepwalking.