R v Ahluwalia

JurisdictionEngland & Wales
Judgment Date31 July 1992
Date31 July 1992
CourtCourt of Appeal (Criminal Division)

Court of Appeal

Before Lord Taylor of Gosforth, Lord Chief Justice, Mr Justice Swinton Thomas and Mr Justice Judge

Regina
and
Ahluwalia

Criminal procedure - appeal - power to admit fresh evidence

Power to admit fresh evidence on retrial

On an appeal againt conviction in 1989 for murder, the Court of Appeal considered it expedient in the interests of justice to use power under section 23(1) of the Criminal Appeal Act 1968 to admit fresh evidence of the appellant's endogenous depression, which some experts would term a major depressive disorder, at the material time, quashed the conviction and ordered a retrial at the Central Criminal Court as soon as practible. Bail was refused.

Lord Taylor of Gosforth, Lord Chief Justice, giving the reserved judgment of the court, said that the case was tragic and most unusual and it was unclear why a medical report of the appellant's condition, which was available before the trial, came to be overlooked or not further pursued at the time.

The appeal was brought by Kiranjit Ahluwalia, aged 36, who was found guilty by a 10 to 2 majority, after a seven-day trial on her plea of guilty to manslaughter but not guilty to murder, which was unacceptable to the prosecution, at Lewes Crown Court (Mr Justice Leonard and a jury) of the murder of her husband by throwing petrol in his bedroom and setting it alight. He sustained burns from which he died six days later, on May 15, 1989.

Section 23(1) provides: "… the Court of Appeal may, if they think it necessary or expedient in the interests of justice … (c) … receive the evidence, if tendered, of any witness."

Mr Geoffrey Robertson, QC and Mr Andrew Nicol for the appellant; Mr Robert Harman, QC and Mr Malcolm Fortune for the Crown.

THE LORD CHIEF JUSTICE said that, leave to appeal had been granted only in September 1991, well out of time.

The appellant had suffered violence and abuse from the deceased from the outset of the marriage. He was a big man, she was slight and her complaints of violence were supported by entries in her doctor's notes. There were two children, one born in 1984, the other in 1986.

She discovered in March 1989 that he was having an affair with a woman who worked with him at the Post Office. He taunted the appellant with that relationship. Despite all that, she wished to hold the marriage together, partly for the sake of the children.

On the evening of May 8 she tried to talk to him about their relationship but he refused, indicating that it was over. He demanded money from her and threatened to beat her if she did not give him £200 the next morning, began to iron some clothes and threatened to burn her face with the hot iron if...

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50 cases
  • Luc v The Queen
    • United Kingdom
    • Privy Council
    • 26 Marzo 1996
    ...Newell and the subsequent decisions of the Court of Appeal where reliance was placed on Newell, in particular R v AhluwaliaUNK ([1992] 4 All ER 889), had suggested that certain characteristics of the defendant relating to his or her mental state or personality might as such be taken into ac......
  • R v Thornton (No. 2)
    • United Kingdom
    • Court of Appeal (Criminal Division)
    • 13 Diciembre 1995
    ...Devlin J approved by this Court in Duffy [1949] 1 All ER 932 up to the present day (see Thornton 96 Cr App R 112 at pages 117–119). 30In Ahluwalia 96 Cr App R 133 at pages 137–139, there was again a challenge to a summing-up which was in accordance with the Duffy direction. It was argued......
  • Holley v AG
    • United Kingdom
    • Privy Council
    • 15 Junio 2005
    ...instance of a case where this defence would have been relevant. There a 22-year old defendant had a mental age of 9 years. Similarly in R v Ahluwalia [1992] 4 All ER 889, where a defence of provocation failed, the Court of Appeal ordered a retrial on the issue of diminished responsibility.......
  • R v McGinley and Another
    • United Kingdom
    • Court of Appeal (Northern Ireland)
    • 19 Octubre 2006
    ...we had taken the view that her evidence was capable of belief we would have refused to admit it as “fresh evidence”. In R v Ahlumnia [1992] 4 All ER 889 the Court of Appeal said at p899j: “Ordinarily, of course, any available defences should be advanced at trial. Accordingly, if medical evi......
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31 books & journal articles
  • Recognising the Role of the Emotion of Fear in Offences and Defences
    • United Kingdom
    • Journal of Criminal Law, The No. 83-6, December 2019
    • 1 Diciembre 2019
    ...Cited in Edwards (n 76).81. Cited in SSM Edwards ‘The Strangulation of Female Partners’ (2015) Crim LR 12, 949–66.82. R v Ahluwalia [1992] 4 All ER 889.83. See ionship> (accessed16 September 2019).458 The Journal of Criminal Law abuse and the impacts and dynamics of how abuse may be perpetr......
  • Court of Appeal
    • United Kingdom
    • Journal of Criminal Law, The No. 71-2, April 2007
    • 1 Abril 2007
    ...Law130 This is not a case in which the decisions made by the court in, for example,Borthwick [[1998] Crim LR 274] and Ahluwalia [(1993) 96 Cr App R 133]can be followed. In our judgment, no reasonable explanation has beengiven for the failure to adduce appropriate medical evidence at the tri......
  • Battered Women, Startled Householders and Psychological Self-Defence: Anglo-Australian Perspectives
    • United Kingdom
    • Journal of Criminal Law, The No. 77-5, October 2013
    • 1 Octubre 2013
    ...213 at 219 and Attorney-General for Northern Ireland’s Reference (No. 1 of 1975)[1977] AC 105 at 139B–G, 148, 156B.21 In R v Ahluwalia [1992] 4 All ER 889, D set f‌ire to her husband’s bedroom as heslept. For further discussion on this aspect of the loss of control defence, seeS. Edwards, ‘......
  • Descent into Murder: Provocation's Stricture—The Prognosis for Women Who Kill Men Who Abuse Them
    • United Kingdom
    • Journal of Criminal Law, The No. 71-4, August 2007
    • 1 Agosto 2007
    ...667, per Lord Goff). I cannot agree. 16 Attorney-General for Jersey v Holley [2005] UKPC 23, [2005] 2 AC 580 at [75]. R v Ahluwalia [1992] 4 All ER 889, per Lord Taylor; R v Thornton (No. 2) [1996]1 WLR 1174, [1996] 2 All ER 1023, CA, preferred justice over the dictates of logic.Lord Steyn ......
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