Evidence of past violence showed motive to attack deceased


Re: Phillip v Director of Public Prosecutions (St Christopher and Nevis) [2017] UKPC 14

The principal ground of appeal related to the admissibility of the evidence adduced by the prosecution of the history of the relationship between the appellant and his estranged wife, for whose murder he had been convicted. The Court held that the evidence of past violence towards her did not go to his general credibility, but rather showed his inclination to attack her and thus was admissible evidence under the Makin principle. It was acknowledged that at points there were statements that could have amounted to an impermissible assertion of general propensity, but that in the context it was sufficiently clear that the evidence was used to show specific propensity for violence towards the deceased. The Court also dismissed arguments concerning the recount of evidence and fresh evidence. The appeal was dismissed.

Jessica Jones was involved in this case.