Regina v O’Brien; Regina v Hall; Regina v Sherwood: CACD 16 Feb 2000

It is proper for the court to admit psychiatric evidence of a defendant’s particular readiness to make false confessions. Such evidence should however be closely circumscribed, and should include for example, that it makes the evidence gained unreliable, that the behaviour pattern is significantly different from the norm, and that there is some evidence independent of the defendant of his suggestibility. The court emphasised ‘the need to have defined limits for the case in which expert evidence of the kind we have heard may be used. First the abnormal disorder must not only be of the type which might render a confession or evidence unreliable, there must also be a very significant deviation from the norm shown.’


Lord Justice Roch


Times 16-Feb-2000, [2000] EWCA Crim 3, 98/6926/27/28 SI




England and Wales


CitedRegina v Ward CACD 1993
The court considered the admission of medical evidence to support other evidence against a defendant as to his propensity. ‘But we conclude on the authorities as they now stand that the expert evidence of a psychiatrist or a psychologist may . .
CitedRegina v Turner (Terence) CACD 1974
The defendant appealed against his conviction for murder. He admitted that he had killed his girlfriend with a hammer, but sought to bring psychiatric evidence that he was susceptible to provocation.
Held: The law jealously guards the role of . .

Cited by:

CitedRegina v Smith CACD 2-Apr-2003
The defendant had been convicted of rape and of burglary with intent to rape. The only evidence was his confession. After other appeals failed, and he had been released, psychiatric reports were obtained. Each has concluded that there are serious . .
ApprovedPinfold, Mackenney v Regina CACD 15-Dec-2003
The appellants challenged their convictions for murder. The convictions had been based substantially upon the evidence of a co-accused who had admitted his part. They now challenged the admission by way of support of the evidence of the co-defendant . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 19 May 2022; Ref: scu.85437