Uganda v Wandera (Criminal Session Case No. 61/91) [1991] UGHCCRD 3 (1 August 1991)

Criminal law|Evidence Law
Case summary
The trial judge considered whether all the ingredients of the offence of murder had been proved, that is to say; death, an unlawful cause of that death, malice aforethought (loosely, intentionally causing death), and the participation of the accused. Because the person that identified the deceased’s body to the examining doctor was not called as a witness, the doctor’s evidence as to proof of death was not relied upon. Other evidence, including the accused’s acknowledgement of her death, was taken into account to make this finding however. The trial judge held that the deceased had died as a result of the beatings she suffered and also that as the law created a presumption of unlawfulness for every homicide that is not accidental, the killing had been lawful. However, he determined that malice aforethought had not been proven given witness accounts and held that the accused did not intend to kill his wife, but to punish her for allegedly being found with another man. Nevertheless, the beating of the deceased was unlawful and had caused her death and thus the accused was thus acquitted of murder but convicted of the lesser offence of manslaughter.

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