The defendant appealed against his conviction for assault. He had pleaded guilty after a ruling by the judge as to the meaning of the phrase ‘a defect of reason, from disease of the mind’ within the meaning of the M’Naughten Rules. More particularly the question is whether a person who commits a criminal act whilst under the effects of hypoglycaemia can raise a defence of automatism, as the Appellants submitted was possible, or whether such a person must rely on a defence of insanity if he wishes to relieve himself of responsibility for his acts, as Mr. Justice Bridge ruled.
Held: Quick’s alleged mental condition, if it ever existed, was not caused by his diabetes but by his use of the insulin prescribed by his doctor. Such malfunctioning of his mind as there was, was caused by an external factor and not by a bodily disorder in the nature of a disease which disturbed the working of his mind. It follows in our judgment that Quick was entitled to have his defence of automatism left to the jury and that Mr. Justice Bridge’s ruling as to the effect of the medical evidence called by him was wrong.
Lawton LJ, Mocatta, Milmo JJ
 QB 910,  EWCA Crim 1, (1973) 137 JP 763,  3 All ER 347, (1973) 57 Cr App Rep 722,  3 WLR 26
England and Wales
Cited – Bratty v Attorney General of Northern Ireland HL 3-Oct-1961
The Court of Criminal Appeal of Northern Ireland certified that their decision involved two points of law of general public importance, namely whether, the defendant’s plea of insanity having been rejected by the jury, it was open to the accused to . .
Mentioned – Regina v Charlson 1955
The court proceeded on the assumption that diseases such as epilepsy or cerebral tumour are not diseases of the mind, even when they are such as to manifest themselves in violence. . .
Cited – Regina v Kemp 1957
The defendant appealed against his conviction for assault. The violent act was alleged to have been done during a period of unconsciousness arising from arteriosclerosis. His counsel submitted that his client had done what he had during a period of . .
Mentioned – Kay v Butterworth KBD 1945
The defendant had been charged only with driving to the danger of the public and with driving without due care and attention. He was acquitted by the justices and the prosecutor appealed.
Held: He should have been convicted of both offences . .
Cited – Hill v Baxter QBD 1958
The Court was asked whether the accused had put forward sufficient evidence on a charge of dangerous driving to justify the justices adjudging that he should be acquitted, there having been no dispute that at the time when his car collided with . .
Cited – Watmore v Jenkins QBD 1962
The justices had decided that a diabetic motorist charged with dangerous driving, and saying that he had done so during a hypo-glycaemic episode, should be acquitted on the ground that he was in a state of automatism. The prosecution appealed.
Cited – Regina v Roach CACD 4-Dec-2001
The defendant appealed a conviction for unlawful wounding, claiming a defence of automatism. Witnesses described his behaviour during the incident in ways which suggested this not to be the case. Medical evidence suggested he was capable of acting . .
Cited – Regina v Cogan and Another CACD 9-Jun-1975
The defendants appealed againts their convictions for rape and against sentence. The victims was the second defendant’s wide.
Held: Applying Morgan, the first defendant’s belief that the victim was consenting was an answer to the charge. His . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Updated: 02 November 2021; Ref: scu.183192