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BASTIAN SILVA i>. APPUHAMY.P. C., Hatton, 29,830.
Serious wound—Circumstances showing intention of accused—Attempt tomurder—Criminal Procedure Cods, s. 152—Summary trial.
Where a person, after abusing another and tearing- out some of hishair, followed him for some distance as he was going towards the court-house and deliberately stabbed him in the baok, causing a wound2J inches deep and 4 inches long, and then stabbed three other personswho attempted to arrest him—Held, this was not a case to be summarilydealt with by the Police Magistrate, as the circumstances showed amurderous intention and were consistent with an attempt to murder,though the wound did not prove dangerous to life.
It is not the nature of the wound, but the intention of the accused,which is decisive as to the nature of the crime committed.
HF. accused in this case was brought up before the Police Courtof Gampola, together with a report signed by a police ser-
geant, in which the accused was alleged to have voluntarily causedgrievous hurt to the complainant Bastian Silva und three others.
The Police Magistrate read the particulars of the charge to theaccused, took his statement, and remanded him to be produced atHatton.
At Hatton the Police Magistrate recorded the evidence of themedical officer, which was as follows: —
“ Bastian Silva had a wound on the right side of his back with“ clean cut edges, 4 inches long, situated below the right shoulder“ blade, directed obliquely from below upwards and outwards. At“ its commencement the wound was 2 inches deep in a direction“ obliquely upwards and inwards towards the cavity of the
" chestthere were no signs of penetration of the chest, and
“no injury to the lungs,’’ &c.
Upon this medical evidence the Police Magistrate was ofopinion that the case was triable summarily, and informed theaccused that he was on his trial. After evidence heard andconsidered, the Police Magistrate convicted the accused.
On appeal, Van Langenberg and Bmva appeared for the accused.
In this case the appellant was convicted of having caused hurtby a knife to one Bastian Silva, and was sentenced to undergothree months’ rigorous imprisonment and to receive fifteen lashes.He was also convicted of having at the same time and placewounded with a knife three other persons who tried to arrest him
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1900. nfter he lnid wounded Bastian Silvn, and ho was sentenced to aFcOntary 16.further period of three months’ rigorous imprisonment in respect
Bo.n-ser, C.J. °f each case.
The prisoner was brought up by a police sergeant before theMagistrate charged with having voluntarily caused grievous hurt.
I notice that the Magistrate did not observe the provisions of theCode by examining at once the person who brought him up:The accused was remanded for the attendance of the medicalofficer, who, when he was called, stated the nature of the injurieson Bastian Silva and the three other wounded men. He describesthe wound on Bastian Silva in these words:—“ He had a wound“ on the right side of his back with clean cut edges, 4 inches long,
“ situated below the right shoulder blade directed obliquely from“ below upwards and outwards. At its commencement the wound“ was 2J inches deep in a direction obliquely upwards and“ inwards towards the cavity of the chest. The rest of the wound" was superficial and tailing off at the upper and outer extremities.
“ There were no signs of penetration of chest, and no injuries to“ lungs. The coat worn by Bastian Silva had a cut corresponding“ to the wound on the body. The injury would have been caused“by a sharp cutting instrument. It did not endanger life.”From the description of that wound it appears that it was a veryserious wound. A stab on the back, 2$ inches deep, is a veryserious thing, and it must have been more by good luck than bydesign that the wound did not endanger life. The Magistratethereupon records: “ On the medical evidence I find that the“ case is a summarily triable one.” Now, I must say that I do notunderstand the view taken by the Police Magistrate. The natureof a wound is not decisive as to the nature of the crime; thatdepends upon the intention of the accused. The medical evidencew'as consistent with this being an attempt to murder, and it wasquite impossible for the Magistrate to say that the case wassummarily triable on the materials before him. The Magistrateproceeded to try the ease summarily, and, after hearing evidencefor the prosecution and defence, arrived at the conclusion which hethus stated:—“ When Bastian Silva, a contractor on Hardenhuish“ estate, asked accused why he was cutting a tree where he had no“ right to be cutting, accused abused him, attacked him, and tore" out some of his hair in the course of the struggle which followed.“ Bastian Silva picked up the hair and walked away intending,“ wisely, to come to Court about the matter instead of further“ quarrelling with accused, who was evidently in a savage state of“ mind. Accused followed Bastian Silva some distance, and then“ deliberately stabbed him in the"back.”
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Moreover he found that, when the bystanders attempted to 1900,arrest him, he stabbed three of them.Febtirary 10.
The finding of the Police Magistrate conclusively shows that Bosses, C.J.this was not a case for summary trial, and therefore 1 set asidethe conviction. I say nothing about the merits of the case on thedefence raised by the accused, that I may not prejudice in anyway the further proceedings.
I order the record be sent to the Attorney-General, that he maytake such proceedings as he may think fit.
BASTIAN SILVA v. APPUHAMY