Kwaku Mensah V. The King (1945)
LawGlobal Hub Judgment Report – West African Court of Appeal
REASONS FOR REPORT OF THE LORDS OF THE JUDICIAL COMMITTEE OF THE PRIVY COUNCIL, DELIVERED THE 11TH OCTOBER, 1945.
Their Lordships now give their reasons for the humble advice which they have tendered to His Majesty that this appeal should be allowed and a verdict of manslaughter substituted for that of murder.
The appeal was brought by special leave against a judgment of the West African Court of Appeal dismissing the Appellant’s appeal against his conviction for the murder of one Abudii Zabrama before bane, J., and a special jury on 15th May, 1943. It appears that in the early morning of 27th November, 1942, the deceased man with some others of his tribe, the Zabrama, arrived at the village of Kajakron, where the Appellant lived, carrying bundles of cloth which they were intending to smuggle into tench territory. According to the witnesses for the prosecution they reached the village when it was light, either just before or just after daybreak, while according to the defence they arrived in the dark when the villagers were asleep. An alarm was given by someone, and there were cries of “thief” and a light ensued. The theory of the prosecution was that the villagers attacked the Zabrama with the object of stealing the goods they were carrying. On the other hand the case for the defence was that the incident started because the tribesmen, or some of them including the deceased, entered the compound or the Appellant and tried to break into his home.