Regina v. Kingston
4 All E.R. 373 (1993), 2 All E.R. 353 (1994)
Kingston was arrested after a
videotape of him sexually assaulting a young boy surfaced.
Kingston argued that a guy
named Penn was trying to blackmail him. He argued that Penn drugged him
and coerced him into assaulting the boy.
The Trial court convicted
Kingston of sexual assault. He appealed.
The Trial Court found that a
drugged intent is still an intent.
The Appellate Court overturned
The Appellate Court found
that even if Kingston had 'inclinations' to abuse little boys he was not
acting on them. Penn's actions in surreptitiously drugging and removing
Kingston's natural inhibitions and self-control was what was responsible
for the assault.
Therefore the law should
exculpate him because the operative fault is not his. Involuntary
intoxication negates mens
The House of Lords reversed
and reinstated the conviction.
The House of Lords found
that involuntary "disinhibition" does not negate mens rea because an intoxicated defendant still
possesses the intent to perform the criminal act.
The Court further found that
allowing such a defense would present insurmountable evidentiary
problems, because the jury would have to determine how much of the intent
was natural and how much was from the drug.
Under the Model Penal Code, for both involuntary intoxication
and diminished mental capacity, it
is not enough to show that if you hadn't been incapacitated you wouldn't
have committed the crime. You have to show that you lack
substantial capacity to conform or lack
substantial capacity to understand.