Battery

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Battery
As per assault, battery is a common law offence. It is a summary offence punishable
with six months imprisonment or a fine.
Actus Reus
Battery is the 'actual infliction of unlawful personal violence.' Any unlawful physical contact can amount to a
battery. There is no need to prove harm or pain, a mere touch can be sufficient.
Collins v Wilcok To grab her attention a police officer grabbed a woman whom he suspected of being a
prostitute, she scratched his arm, the court stated that the policeman had committed battery and she was
entitled to her action. The court also said a mere touch to grab a persons attention probably
wouldn't be a battery.
Fagan v MPC D drove over officers foot by accident, then left his car there maliciously when told to
move it, convicted of battery. The court held that battery can be direct or indirect force.
DPP v K D placed acid into an electric hand dryer causing the nest user to be sprayed with the liquid.
Court held that a battery had been committed though it was indirect.
Haystead v Chief Constable Of Derbyshire D had been in a relationship with X which was breaking
down. D punched X in the face causing her to drop her baby, V. As a direct result of the punches, V hit his
head on the floor. V was visible to D and so D would have foreseen the risk of injury. D was found
guilty of battery on the child seeing as it was a direct and foreseeable consequence of D's conduct.
R v Thomas Thomas touched the bottom of a woman's skirt. Force doesn't have to be applied to the
victims body, touching clothes is enough even if the victim feels nothing.
DPP v SantanaBermudez Man lied and didn't tell a police officer who was searching him that he had a
needle in his pocket, subsequently, she was guilty of assault causing actual bodily harm. Omissions count
as batteries.
N.B: If victim put self in that position, e.g., a queue, then there is no battery.
Causation
D must cause the actus reus of battery. If the victim incurs the actual infliction of unlawful personal violence
but the defendant did not cause this, the defendant cannot be liable, see Haystead v Chief Constable of
Derbyshire.
Mens Rea
The D must have either intended to apply unlawful force or must have foreseen the risk that force would be
applied but went ahead and took the risk anyway as per, R v Cunningham.

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