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Assault is a summary offence with a maximum sentence on conviction of six months
or a fine, (Max 5,000)
Actus Reus: 'Any act which makes the victim fear the immediate infliction of unlawful
R v Mansfield: No physical contact needed, shaking a fist would be enough if it created fear.
Smith v Chief Superintendent of Woking Police Station D entered V's garden and stared through her
window, V saw him and ran away, his action creating fear. It was an assault because V had felt fear
even though there was no immediate prospect of him entering the property and hurting her.
R v Ireland D made silent phone calls to V causing psychiatric injury, even though thee was no chance of
immediate infliction, the D had put himself in direct contact with the V and the V felt fear physical
proximity is not required.
R v Meade and Belt The defendants gathered round victims house and sang menacing songs and used
violent language. This used to not be an assault, but since R v Ireland, assault can be committed by
words alone.
Turberville v Savage D annoyed by comments and put hand on sword (threat) and said 'if it were not
assize time I would not take such language,' assize time being when judges were present. Although the
hand on the sword was a threat, his words cancelled it out, he had no intention of violence.
Assault is a result crime and if the victim was put in immediate fear of unlawful force but the defendant
didn't cause the fear then the defendant cannot be found guilty. He/she must be the factual and legal cause.
Mens Rea The defendant must have either intended to cause the victim to fear the application of
immediate and unlawful force, or they must have foreseen the risk that fear would be created but went
ahead and took the risk anyway, as per R v Cunningham.


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