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R v Hill [2008] EWCA Crim 76

In 1993 the appellant had been out drinking with Ricky Hayman, an occasional drinking companion who as known by the appellant, was homosexual. He went back to his flat and fell asleep in the chair. He was awoken by Hayman unzipping his trousers. The appellant struck him in the face and claimed Hayman struck his head on the wooden arm of the chair. Hayman died. Medical evidence was that cause of death was by strangulation, although the appellant denied strangling him. At trial the defendant claimed accident and did not advance provocation as a defence. The jury convicted of murder. The appellant applied to the Criminal Cases Review Commission following the decision in R v Smith (Morgan) allowing mental characteristics to be taken into account by the jury in assessing whether a reasonable man would have been provoked into doing as the defendant did. He wished to introduce fresh evidence relating to sexual abuse during his childhood. Before the appeal was heard the decision in A-G for Jersey v Holley was given.


The appeal was dismissed because the fresh evidence was not admissible as there was no reason why the defendant did not advance the evidence at trial. The Court of Appeal accepted that the relevant law applicable in England & Wales was as stated by the Privy Council in Holley as applied in R v James & Karimi. Had the fresh evidence been admissible it would have enabled the appellant to rely upon it as it related to the gravity of the provocation rather than the self-control of the appellant as required by Holley.
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