The evidence of a psychological autopsy was not admissible in court proceedings. The field was not one with sufficiently established evidence of value and standards to allow it properly to be assessed. If it were allowed on behalf of the defence in order to establish possible intentions of the deceased, the defence might in due course face similar evidence being brought against the defendant himself.
The expert had not embarked on the exercise in question before and there were no criteria by reference to which the court could test the quality of his opinions and no substantial body of academic writing approving his methodology. The psychologist’s views were based on one-sided information and doubted that the assessment of levels of happiness or unhappiness was a task for an expert rather than jurors.
Rose VP LJ, Hallett, Crane JJ
Times 13-Feb-2001,  EWCA Crim 81,  2 Cr App R 5
England and Wales
Cited – Kennedy v Cordia (Services) Llp SC 10-Feb-2016
The appellant care worker fell in snow when visiting the respondent’s client at home. At issue was the admission and status of expert or skilled evidence.
Held: Mrs Kennedy’s appeal succeeded. ‘There are in our view four considerations which . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Updated: 08 January 2022; Ref: scu.88471