Law and Mrs. Brine

Topics: Law, Mother, House of Lords Pages: 2 (860 words) Published: March 21, 2009
Criminal Law - Murder - Onus of Proof - Accident - Unlawful Intention - Direction to the Jury - Reasonable Doubt of Guilt - Criminal Appeal Act, 1907 (7 Edw. 7, c. 23), s. 4. In a trial for murder the Crown must prove death as the result of a voluntary act of the prisoner and malice of the prisoner. When evidence of death and malice has been given, the prisoner is entitled to show by evidence or by examination of the circumstances adduced by the Crown that the act on his part which caused death was either unintentional or provoked. If the jury are either satisfied with his explanation or, upon a review of all the evidence, are left in reasonable doubt whether, even if his explanation be not accepted, the act was unintentional or provoked, the prisoner is entitled to be acquitted. Statement of the Law in Foster's Crown Law (1762), p. 255, and summing up of Tindal C.J. in _Rex v. _Greenacre (1837) 8 C. & P. 35 disapproved. Order of the Court of Criminal Appeal reversed.

APPEAL from an order of the Court of Criminal Appeal refusing leave to Reginald Woolmington, the appellant, to appeal against his conviction of the wilful murder of Violet Kathleen Woolmington, who was his wife. The appellant was convicted on February 14, 1935, at Bristol Assizes before Swift J. and a jury. The appellant and his wife were married on August 25, 1934. He was a farm labourer and bore a good character. His age was twenty-one and a half years, and his wife was four years younger. They lived at Castleton, near Sherborne, on the farm of one Cheeseman, the appellant's employer. On November 22, 1934, the appellant's wife left him and went to live with her mother, Lilian Smith, a widow, at 24 Newtown, Milborne Port. The appellant wanted her to go back to him and made efforts to induce her to go back, but she would not. Next door to Mrs. Smith lived a Mrs. Brine, a sister of Mrs. Smith and aunt of the deceased woman. On the morning of December 10, 1934, Mrs....
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