Assault and Battery

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Rhian Nicole Mason
Assault is the fear of harm, battery is actual harm. The max sentence for both is 6 months and
these cases are tried in the Magistrates court.
Both of these are under Section 39 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988.
Assault is intentionally or recklessly causing the victim to fear immediate unlawful harm.
The Mens Rea of assault was set out by the House of Lords in the Savage(1991) case ­ "The
intention to cause the victim to apprehend unlawful and immediate violence or recklessness
whether such as apprehension be caused"
The Actus Reus of assault is that it:
Causes the victim to apprehend violence
The violence is immediate
The violence is unlawful
Causing the victim to apprehend violence There is no need for physical contact between the
victim and the defendant, the emphasis is on what the victim thought was about to happen.
Logdon (1976) ­ A replica gun was pointed as a joke, the victim did not know it was a
replica thus making them fear harm.
Smith vs Chief Superintendent of Woking Police Station (1983) ­ A stalker in the garden,
no words just the action of standing and staring
Ireland (1997) ­ Silent phone calls, silence is still assault
Immediate violence ­ This is what the victim thinks will happen and is part of the current events
Smith vs Chief Superintendent of Woking Police Station (1983) ­ Stalker could potentially
get into the house
Logdon (1976) ­ Victim thought gun was real so threat was obvious
Ireland (1997) ­ The unknown of where the person was and what they could do is the
The violence is unlawful ­ police are able to handcuff and restrain, this depends on whether direct
or indirect intention occurs or subjective recklessness occurs.
This is the unlawful application of force to another and the force involved only has to be very
Thomas (1985) ­ School caretaker touched 11 y/o girls skirt with fingertip. It is consent that makes
touch lawful, E.G Boxing.
Haystead (2000) ­ boyfriend slapped girlfriend, she has hold of baby and dropped it, he liable for
its injuries. Battery can be cause by indirect force.

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Rhian Nicole Mason
Venna (1979) ­ The Mens Rea of battery was stated in this case, "Proof the defendant
intentionally or recklessly applied force to another person" ­ resisted arrest violently against
police officer…read more


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