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Non-Fatal Offences Against The Person
A variety of offences exist where D commits an offence against another person, which does not result in
death. These offences reflect differing degrees of injury caused to the victim and the nature of mens rea
that the defendant has.

1. Assault ­ s39 Criminal…

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It must be an act, not an omission and is defined as:

Apprehension [of]
Immediate Force


The victim must APPREHEND FORCE, not be put into fear, although this word is generally used to describe the state.

Lamb (1967)
D and V were fooling around with a revolver with 2…

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Tuberville v. Savage (1669)
D put his hand on the hilt of his sword and said "Were it not assize time, I would not take such language
from you."
Words can prevent an act from becoming a technical assault, but it depends on the circumstances.

Light (1857)
D raised his…

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Although no one was hurt in the case, if someone had been injured by falling plaster, or by some other freak accident
­ Miller could be guilty of battery for not calling the fire brigade.

DPP v. Santana Bermudez (2003)
D failed to tell a policewoman that he had a…

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Actual Bodily Harm (ABH)

"Whosoever shall be convicted on indictment of any assault occasioning actual bodily harm shall be liable to
imprisonment for not more than five years."

Offences Against the Person Act 1861, Section 47

Actus Reus

There have been a number of cases which comment on what constitutes…

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Mens Rea of s.47

The mens rea for s.47 ABH is intention or recklessness as to the assault ­ the same as for common assault. The
defendant does NOT however have to have the mens rea for the ABH. They have to foresee the amount of damaged
which may be…

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Wounding and Grievous Bodily Harm (GBH)

"Unlawfully and maliciously wound or inflict grievous bodily harm on another person."

Offences Against the Person Act 1861, Section 20

From this definition it is possible to deduce the two offences:
Malicious Wounding
Inflicting GBH

Mens Rea

The mens rea for s.20 offences is…

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Saunders (1985)
D hit V, giving him a broken nose and other injuries for no apparent reason.
When directing a jury, it is permissible to omit the `really' and call it `serious harm'.

Bollom (2004)
A 17-month-old child had severe bruising on her abdomen, both arms, and left leg.

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Wounding or GBH with Intent

"Unlawfully and maliciously by any means whatsoever wound or cause grievous bodily harm to any other person
with intent to do some grievous bodily harm... or with intent to resist or prevent the lawful apprehension or detainer
of any person."

Offences Against the Person Act…

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Actus Reus

This can be either by a wounding, or GBH. Causation must be established as with any offence, and is particularly
important in cases involving psychiatric injury.

Burstow (1997)
V suffered clinical depression as a result of being constantly telephoned, written to and followed by her
`Bodily harm'…


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