Kofi Mensa V. The Queen (1952) LJR-WACA

Kofi Mensa V. The Queen (1952)

LawGlobal Hub Judgment Report – West African Court of Appeal

Criminal Law— Charge of murder—No evidence of preconceived intent to kill—Defence of intoxication not considered.


Appellant was co-habiting with deceased and anxious to marry her but disappointed in his hopes took gin and later that day invited her to go with him to a place to gather mushrooms. On the way he drank some palm-wine at her uncle’s farm.

His evidence was that at the place where the mushrooms were the drink began to affect him and thereafter he had no recollection of what happened until the moment he found himself beside her covered in blood. The deceased died of gunshot wounds; appellant was carrying a gun.

The trial Judge directed the assessors that there was no evidence to warrant manslaughter; he held that appellant took the woman out in order to kill her and that the defence of drunkenness could not be considered; and he convicted the appellant of murder.
On appeal:—


The conduct of the appellant negatived any preconceived intent to kill, and the failure to consider whether the evidence of intoxication might have negatived any intention to kill and warranted a verdict of manslaughter was a serious misdirection.

Appeal allowed: conviction altered to manslaughter.

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