Social media messages in which a defendant had said that she might stab her boyfriend when stressed or angry had been correctly admitted as evidence that might assist the jury in determining whether the boyfriend’s later death as a result of a knife in the heart had been an accident or a stabbing by the defendant with the necessary intent. EWCA Crim 2237
A judge had erred in refusing a submission of no case to answer in a murder trial, as the possibility that the victim’s death was an accident could not safely be excluded. EWCA Crim 477
The failure to produce a defendant in court because of an error in the administrative process was capable of amounting to an “accident” within the meaning of the Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980 s.129(1), so as to entitle magistrates to exercise their discretion and remand her in custody in her absence.
Where the offender’s defence to a charge of murder was one of accident and the jury had been directed that they could only convict if they were sure that she had acted deliberately and in a pre-planned way, there was no room for a verdict of manslaughter or any consideration of provocation. It was either murder or nothing. EWCA Crim 138
Applications for leave to appeal against convictions for murder, based on fresh evidence and a complaint that the legal advisers had failed to conduct the defence properly by not advancing the defence of diminished responsibility, were refused, as the fresh evidence did not undermine the Crown’s case and it was not appropriate, in the circumstances, to allow the issue of diminished responsibility to be argued on appeal. EWCA Crim 2514
The defendant’s convictions of causing grievous bodily harm and dangerous driving were unsafe as, when summing up, the judge had misrepresented his defence as duress of circumstances when the actual defence was accident. EWCA Crim 1901
Where a jury inadvertently returned verdicts on two counts arising in the alternative, it was proper for the conviction for the lesser offence to be quashed. On the facts of the case, police had not acted in bad faith when interviewing witnesses for the defence on suspicion of conspiracy with the defendant to pervert the course of justice. EWCA Crim 2943
A sentence of five years was inappropriate where sentencing remarks suggested the judge had sentenced the defendant for offence jury had acquitted him of. EWCA Crim 478
Where the jury had been bound to decide a case on written and signed documentation evidence, evidence of the credibility of a police officer involved, who had subsequently left the force after unconnected disciplinary matters, was not admissible and would have had no effect on the jury’s findings. EWCA Crim 2359
On a proper application of the authorities to the facts, a rescuer who acted lawfully but suffered forseeable injury caused by the negligence of two others acting unlawfully was entitled to recover proportional damages against each of them.
Where a defendant had been found unfit to plead by reason of mental disability, the defence of diminished responsibility (under s.2 Homicide Act 1957) could not apply to a hearing under s.4A(2) Criminal Procedure (Insanity) Act 1964 to determine whether he committed the act charged against him.
An appeal against a conviction for unlawful wounding was allowed because the trial judge refused to leave the issue of self-defence to the jury when accident was the pleaded defence.