Evon Smith v The Queen: PC 14 Nov 2005

PC (Jamaica) The Board was asked whether the offence was a capital murder. The murder was committed in the course of a burglary. The defendant had stood on a ladder and reached in through a window and attacked the victim with a machete.
Held: (Majority opinion) ‘the offences of burglary and housebreaking both relate to acts of breaking into and entering dwelling houses. The protection of the subsection undoubtedly extends to those who are at risk of being killed by intruders who have broken into their homes for the purpose of stealing from them. But it does not follow that every murder committed within a victim’s own home is a capital murder, nor does it follow that a capital murder is committed by every person who kills after breaking into the victim’s dwelling house. The legislature could have said so if this was its intention, and in this area of the law where the right to life is in issue it had to spell out what it meant with absolute clarity. What it did was to restrict the offence of capital murder to the categories listed in section 2(1), which require more of the intruder to qualify as a capital murderer than the act of breaking into and entering the dwelling house with intent to commit the murder. They require a duality of purpose which is absent from this case. ‘

Lord Steyn, Lord Hoffmann, Lord Hope of Craighead, Lord Hutton, Lord Walker of Gestingthorpe
[2005] UKPC 43, [2006] 1 WLR 243
Bailii, PC
England and Wales
CitedWatson v Regina PC 7-Jul-2004
(Jamaica) The defendant was convicted of two murders from the same incident. The Act provided for the death penalty if he was convicted of a second murder. He appealed the death sentence in the circumstances, and said also that it was . .
CitedRegina v Vickers CCA 1957
The appellant, having broken into a dwelling-house to commit burglary, came upon the occupier whom he struck in a way which according to the medical evidence could have been inflicted with a moderate degree of violence. The victim died as a result. . .
CitedLamey v The Queen PC 20-May-1996
(Jamaica) The appellant was convicted of capital murder.
Held: Murder was not a terrorist act where fear caused is merely a by-product of the acts and not directly intended. He had had no intention of putting any member of the public in fear. . .
CitedHM Advocate v Graham HCJ 1958
The accused was said to have stabbed the deceased while in the act of breaking into a public house with intent to steal from it. There was evidence that he was attempting to break in and steal when the fatal struggle took place.
Held: There . .
CitedRegina v Jones 1959
There were two criminal acts and the defendant had two purposes, one ancillary to the other. His primary intention was to steal. Having stolen the money, he then killed as he left the house in order to avoid detection. . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 22 January 2022; Ref: scu.236688