John Makindi vs R (1961)

      Comments Off on John Makindi vs R (1961)

The appellant was convicted for manslaughter of a boy for who he was a foster father to. He was charged with causing his death by severely beating him. Medical evidence showed that the boy had died due to severe bleeding in the head and a doctor testified that there were blood clots in the boy’s head which had opened, causing a lot of blood to flow from the deceased’s head, therefore causing death.

At the trial, John Makindi raised the defense that the boy was epileptic and so had suffered these injuries in the course of an epileptic attack. The prosecution then adduced evidence to rebut his defense. They tendered evidence of previous severe beatings of the deceased by John Makindi. The appellant had previously been convicted and imprisoned for beating up the boy. He had also threatened the boy with further beatings for being convicted.

The issue was whether that evidence was admissible under section 6 of the Evidence Act as explaining the cause of death as well as under sections 8 and 14 showing the motive of the appellants to revenge on the deceased and the appellants’ ill will towards the child.

The court held in the affirmative in the circumstance in order to show the accused’s state of mine. He had motive to avenge for his previous imprisonment.

Evidence of similar fact in John Makindi vs R was admitted on the ground that it illustrated the hostility and ill-will between John Makindi and his foster child.