Weller, Regina v: CACD 26 Mar 2003

The defendant appealed against his conviction for murder, saying that provocation should have been found. The issue was whether or not, in the course of his summing-up, the trial judge should have left, and if so whether he had left, to the jury the appellant’s ‘unduly possessive and jealous nature’ as a relevant characteristic for their consideration in relation to the objective element of the appellant’s defence of provocation.
Held: ‘there are two elements to the ‘defence’ of provocation. For present purposes they may be identified as follows: (a) whether the defendant lost his self-control; (b) whether he should reasonably have controlled himself. They are sometimes called the ‘subjective element’ and the ‘objective element’. The first element sets up the defence. The second sets a limit.’ On the basis of its analysis of the judgments in Smith (Morgan), the characteristics identified should have been left to the jury.

Lord Justice Mantell, Mr Justice Jack, Mr Justice Hedley
[2003] EWCA Crim 815, [2003] Crim LR 724
England and Wales
CitedRegina v Jenkins and Another CACD 14-Feb-2002
The decision in Smith (Morgan) does not prevent use of the expression ‘the reasonable man’ in the judge’s summing-up, in Weller, when considering how a jury should be directed on provocation, the court plainly regarded the relevant question as being . .
CitedRegina v Smith (Morgan James) HL 27-Jul-2000
The defendant had sought to rely upon the defence of provocation. He had suffered serious clinical depression.
Held: When directing a jury on the law of provocation, it was no longer appropriate to direct the jury to disregard any particular . .
CitedRegina v Stingel 1990
(High Court of Australia) An infatuated man had stabbed his former girlfriend’s lover.
Held: The judge had been right to withdraw the issue of provocation from the jury. Jealousy and possessiveness should not found a defence of provocation. . .
CitedRegina v Humphreys CACD 1995
Defence of provocation to murder. Abnormal immaturity and attention seeking by wrist slashing were mental characteristics which should have been left for the jury to decide upon. . .
CitedRegina v Dryden 1995
The court considered the defence of provocation to a charge of murder.
Held: ‘eccentric and obsessional personality traits’ were mental characteristics which should have been left for the jury. . .
CitedRegina (Director of Public Prosecutions) v Camplin HL 1978
The court considered the direction to be given as to the existence of provocation so as to reduce a charge of murder to one of manslaughter. The reasonable man in the definition should be one with the defendant’s mental condition. ‘The judge should . .
Practice recommendationRegina v Lowe 21-Feb-2003
The jury had come back into court with a question showing that they were having difficulty in understanding the direction on provocation. A court preparing to direct the jury on the defence of provocation woiuld be wise to submit the form of . .

Cited by:
CitedRegina v Rowland CACD 12-Dec-2003
The appellant had been convicted of murder. He sought to have substituted a conviction for manslaughter following Smith, and in the light of evidence as to his mental characteristics.
Held: ‘in the context of the law of provocation, the . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Leading Case

Updated: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.180075