Rex v Saunders and Archer: 1573

Misdirected Poison remained Offence

A intended to kill his wife, and gave her a poisoned apple. She gave it her child who ate the apple and died. The defendant had not intended his daughter to eat the apple.
Held: A was guilty of the murder of his daughter, but his wife, who was ignorant of the poison was innocent.
‘for if I command one to kill JS and before the fact done I go to him and tell him that I have repented, and expressly charge him not to kill JS and he afterwards kills him, there I shall not be accessory to this murder, because I have countermanded my first command, which in all reason shall discharge me, for the malicious mind of the accessory ought to continue to do ill until the time of the act done, or else he shall not be charged; but if he had killed JS before the time of my discharge or countermand given, I should have been accessory to the death, notwithstanding my private repentance.’

(1573) 2 Plowd 473 Fost 371, 75 ER 706
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedRegina v Becerra and Cooper CACD 1975
The defendants sought leave to appeal against their convictions for a brutal and horrific murder. Becerra suggeste dtat he had wanted to withdraw from the event before the murder took place.
Held: The appeal failed: ‘ in the circumstances then . .
CitedRegina v Whitehouse 1941
(British Columbia) The court asked when a party to a joint enterprise may claim to have abandoned or withdrawn from that enterprise ‘Can it be said on the facts of this case that a mere change of mental intention and a quitting of the scene of the . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Leading Case

Updated: 31 October 2021; Ref: scu.186600