Case link: Self-defence – mistaken belief – Beckford v The Queen [1987] UKPC 1

pigsty“On 28 March 1985 the appellant was convicted of murder and sentenced to death. On 10 October 1985 the Court of Appeal of Jamaica dismissed his appeal against conviction, and gave leave to appeal, certifying the following question as being of exceptional public importance:

‘1.(a) Must the test to be applied for self defence be based on what a person reasonably believed on reasonable grounds to be necessary to resist an attack or should it be what the accused honestly believed?

1.(b) Where, in the instant case, on a trial of an indictment for murder the issue of self defence is raised is it a proper direction in law for the Jury to be told by the trial Judge: A man who is attacked in circumstances where he reasonably believes his life to be in danger or that he is in danger of serious bodily injury may use such force as on reasonable grounds he thinks necessary in order to resist the attack and if in using such force he kills his assailant he is not guilty of any crime even if the killing is intentional?’”

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