Rex v Ball: HL 1911

Evidence of sexual acts or advances other than those which are the subject of the charge is frequently adduced to show the true nature of the relationship between the parties, a practice which may be regarded as an acceptable and inevitable form of evidence of ‘guilty passions’: ‘Surely in an ordinary prosecution for murder you can prove previous acts or words of the accused to shew he entertained feelings of enmity towards the deceased, and that is evidence not merely of the malicious mind with which he killed the deceased, but of the fact that he killed him. You can give in evidence the enmity of the accused towards the deceased to prove that the accused took the deceased’s life. Evidence of motive necessarily goes to prove the fact of the homicide by the accused, as well as his ‘malice aforethought,’ inasmuch as it is more probable that men are killed by those who have some motive for killing them than by those who have not.’
Lord Atkinson
[1911] AC 47
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedTeiko David Jamel Furbert and Sheldon Eugenio Franks v The Queen PC 23-Mar-2000
PC (Bermuda) The appellants challenged their conviction for murder. Evidence had been admitted of informal and unadmitted conversations with police officers after charge, with the officers notebooks put before . .
CitedRegina v Beedles CACD 31-Jul-1996
The defendant appealed against his conviction for sexual assault. The issue was whether a note written by the complainant to her teacher was admissible as evidence of recent complaint to corroborate her statement. Similar allegations had been made . .
CriticisedRegina v Berry 1963
The defendant appealed a conviction for the violent stabbing of his ex-girlfriend.
Held: Evidence of past incidents should not be regarded as relevant to prove the state of mind with which a particular act (in that case was done. . .
Re-assertedRegina v Williams CACD 1986
The defendant was charged with threatening to kill.
Held: Evidence of previous threatening and violent conduct of Williams towards the victim was rightly admitted to establish an intention on the part of the defendant that the victim should . .
AppliedRegina v Fulcher CACD 1995
The previous non-accidental injuries sustained by the baby whom F was alleged to have murdered were relevant to show not only that the child, being in pain, was more likely to be fractious, but also how F was likely to react to the child crying. The . .
CitedOsbourne, Regina v CACD 13-Mar-2007
The defendant appealed his conviction for murder. He complained at the admission of a statement made by the police surgeon who had attended him in the police station as evidence of bad character under the 2003 Act. The statement was as to his . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 03 May 2021; Ref: scu.181014

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