Deprecated: mysql_connect(): The mysql extension is deprecated and will be removed in the future: use mysqli or PDO instead in /home/ghanalegal/domains/ on line 101 R v. FRAFRA | GhanaLegal - Resources for the legal brains


  • appeal
  • 1959-12-11
  • GLR 442444
  • Print



Homicide?-Criminal insanity?-distinction between Ghana law and English law?-Schizophrenia?-Insane delusion?-Guilty but insane.


Tinga Frafra had killed his wife, as he agreed. He said that she had given him a potion, with the object of rendering him sexually impotent. He also stated that he had found her in flagrante delicto, engaged in sexual intercourse with the second witness for the prosecution, and that when he attacked the latter his wife had intervened to protect her lover. Because she was preventing him from wounding this man, he attacked her. These allegations were unsupported by other evidence.The defence raised at the trial was that Frafra was insane at the time when he killed his wife. The evidence of Dr. Cudjoe (the mental specialist) was that Frafra was "suffering from insanity" (in the form of schizophrenia) shortly after he had killed his wife, and that he might possibly have been mad at the time when he did so.In summing up to the jury on the question of insanity, the learned Judge called their attention to the English law of insanity as set out in the M'Naghten Rules, but did not direct them as to the Ghana law of insanity, or as to the difference between the M'Naghten Rules and sec. 52 (2) of the Criminal Code.Frafra was convicted of murder, and appealed to the Court of Appeal (Crim. App. No. 126/59).


(His lordship stated the facts and proceeded:?-)

The appellant's allegations were not supported by the evidence, and there are reasons to suppose that they are figments of imagination and insane delusion.

There was evidence, too, that he had inflicted an injury to his own person of a kind that is characteristic of a severe form of mental derangement. Dr. Cudjoe said, "The emotional factor is often highly disturbed in this type of insanity," and he said that the appellant's statement as to the reason for his attack on his wife "may have been a persecutory delusion." He added, "He could have acted on that delusion." It is clear, in our opinion, that if the appellant acted in the way he did under a delusion that he was witnessing an act of sexual intercourse between his wife and another man, then he was acting under an insane delusion within the meaning of Section 52 (2) of the Criminal Code.

Section 52 reads as follows:?-

"52. When a person is accused of crime, the special verdict provided for in section 137 of the Criminal Procedure Code shall only be applicable?-

(1) if he was prevented, by reason of idiocy, imbecility, or any mental derangement or disease affecting the mind, from knowing the nature or consequences of the act in respect of which he is accused; or

(2) if he did the act in respect of which he is accused under the influence of an insane delusion of such a nature as to render him, in the opinion of the jury or of the Court, an unfit subject for punishment of any kind in respect of such act."

The learned Judge summed up to the Jury on the issue of insanity, and called attention to the contents of page 15 of the 34th Edition of Archbold. The passage which he seems to have read is concerned with the answers of the English Judges which have become known as the M'Naghten Rules.

The passage in question is not related to the provisions of Section 52 (2) of our Code. It appears from the record that the learned Judge unfortunately overlooked the distinction between the English [p.444] Rules and the Ghana Code, and did not direct the attention of the Jury to the latter or acquaint them with the provisions of Section 52. It follows from this that the Jury received what we feel was an inadequate direction upon insanity and insane delusion, and upon the effects of these on the kind of verdict which is appropriate in such cases.

We feel that, had they received a fuller direction upon these matters, the Jury would almost inevitably (in the light of the evidence) have entered a special verdict of "Guilty but Insane."


<P>We therefore allow this appeal, set aside the verdict of the Jury, and quash the sentence of death. We substitute for the verdict of Guilty a verdict of "Guilty but Insane," a

Plaintiff / Appellant

Koranteng Addow

Defendant / Respondent



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