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R v Windle [1952] 2QB 826

The appellant killed his wife. She was suicidal and he administered an aspirin overdose. Medical evidence supported the view that he was suffering from a mental condition at the time of the crime. On arrest he said to the police, "I suppose they will hang me for this". The trial judge refused to allow the defence of insanity to be put before the jury as he had demonstrated that he realised that what he was doing was unlawful.


The appeal was dismissed. The trial judge was correct to refuse the defence of insanity. Wrong, for the purposes of the M'Naghten rules, meant unlawful. It did not matter that he thought his actions were not morally wrong.
Back to lecture outline on the law relating to insanity in criminal liability