Regina v Richens: CACD 5 Nov 1992

The defendant appealed against his conviction for murder.
Held: The judge’s direction as to the effect of the defendant’s lies had been inadequate in relation to the issue of provocation.
Lord Taylor LCJ said: ‘(The judge’s) approach appears to us to overlook the vital and incontestable fact that a man who has killed by reason of loss of self-control, and therefore faces arrest, trial and possible lengthy imprisonment, may have almost as strong reasons for attempting to conceal his deed and lie about his involvement as a man who has killed deliberately . . The point is that the jury should be alerted to the fact that, before they can treat lies as tending towards the proof of guilt of the offence charged, they must be sure that there is not some possible explanation for the lies which destroys their potentially probative effect. Applying that concept to the present case, could the jury be sure that attempts to conceal the killing and lies were inconsistent with the appellant’s case that he had killed as a result of provocation, and pointed to murder.’
In principle, however, the need for a warning along the lines indicated is the same in all cases where the jury are invited to regard, or there is a danger that they may regard lies told by the defendant, or evasive or discreditable conduct by him, as probative of his guilt of the offence in question.’
Lord Taylor LCJ, Hutchison, Holland JJ
[1994] 98 Cr App R 43, [1992] EWCA Crim 3, [1993] 4 All ER 877, (1994) 98 Cr App R 43
Homicide Act 1957
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedRegina v Andrews CACD 15-Oct-2003
The defendant sought leave to appeal her conviction for murder saying that a finding of manslaughter was appropriate for her diminished responsibility.
Held: There was insufficient evidence to establish that the judge’s directions on the . .

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Updated: 08 April 2021; Ref: scu.240380