Nov 27, 2014

FACTS

The accused had a crush on the victim. Victim didn’t feel the same way, saying so in a letter written to a friend.

The accused found the letter and read it.

The next day, while the two were walking together at school, the victim said something, triggering a violent reaction in the accused. He struck her several times with a rock and then choked her. He said couldn’t remember much of what happened after being stopped. The trial judge acquitted. The C.A. ordered a new trial. The accused appealed.

ISSUES

Did the trial judge err in making the defence of “sane automatism” available?

HELD

Yes. New trial ordered.

RATIO

Trial judge was wrong in holding that the “so-called ‘psychological blow’” causing the dissociative state of the accused, was an externally originating cause.