R v Howlett

JurisdictionEngland & Wales
CourtHigh Court
Judgment Date29 February 1836
Date29 February 1836

English Reports Citation: 173 E.R. 121

IN THE COURTS OF KING'S BENCH, COMMON PLEAS AND EXCHEQUER

Rex
and
Howlett

Feb 29th, 1836 rex v howlett (On an indictment for wounding, the jury, upon the question whether, if death had ensued, the offence would have been murder, should consider whether the instrument employed was, m its ordinary use, likely to cause death ; or, if it be an instrument not likely under ordinary circumstances to cause death, whether it was used in such an extraordinary manner as to make it likely to cause death either by continued blows or otherwise.) Wounding -The prisoner was indicted for having maliciously wounded John Allen with a tin can, with intent to murder him The indictment also contained the usual counts, charging an intent to do grievous bodily harm, &c. John Allen said-'" I am game-keeper to Lady Wentuaii I had been round the covers on the night of the 1st of October At midnight I went to the house of a person named Lewis The prisoner came in at half-past one o'clock He said he meant a row He said, ' I have £20 . do you want to borrow one 1 ' I said ' No.' I had given evidence at the last assizes against some wood-stealers, with whom the prisoner was intimate. The prisoner took up a tin can and knocked out the candle. He struck me on the head with the can four times The next thing that I recollect is, that I was outside the house, and that the prisoner was dragging me along He knocked me about, and said he would break my neck He dragged me to Thomas Newitt's window, and I was taken to my brother's. I kept my bed four days '' It was proved by Mr Lupton, a surgeon, that the prosecutor had two cuts on the scalp, which laid his scull bare, one of the cuts being an inch in length, and the other half an inch Alderson, B. (in summing up) -You will have to consider in this case whether, if death had ensued, the [275] prisoner would have been guilty of murder ; and in giving your judgment on that question, you will have to consider, whether the instrument employed was, in its ordinary use, likely to cause death ; or, though an inetrument unlikely, under ordinary circumstances, to cause death-whether it was used in such an extraordinary manner as to make it likely to cause death either by continued blows or otherwise * A tin can, in its ordinary use, was not...

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