A guilty mind. The state of a man’s mind is as much a fact as the state of his digestion. It is true that it is very difficult to prove what the state of a man’s mind at particular time is, but if it can be ascertained, it is as much a fact as anything else. [Edgington v. Fitzmaurice, 29 Ch D 483]. [English Law].
In criminal law mens rea or criminal intent being an important test of criminality, the state of mind of the accused in doing an act is almost invariably an important ingredient of the offence charged against him. In civil cases, the state of mind of the defendant is generally immaterial, though even here there are some well recognized exceptions where the state of mind of the defendant in doing an act becomes a fact in issue, e.g., in actions founded on fraud, slander, negligence, false imprisonment and malicious prosecution. [See Phipson, Evidence, 6th Ed., 145].