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Assault Definition. Battery Definition.
· An act that causes the · The application of
victim to apprehend the unlawful force intending
infliction of immediate to apply the force or
unlawful force. This can recklessness to whether
be committed with the physical force is applied.
intention of causing fear
or recklessness as to
whether fear is caused.…read more

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· Must be an act an omission is not sufficient.
Words are sufficient and can be verbal or
written ­ Constanza (1997) ­ 800 letters with
last two being threatening. CoA held that an
assault was fear of violence at some time.
· Silent phone calls are an assault depending
on circumstances (Island, 1997).
· The act or words must induce fear in the
victim of force being used against them. If the
defendant cannot use force it is not an
· If someone is aware a gun is unloaded then
pointing the gun at them is not an assault
(Lamb, 1967).…read more

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· Must be immediate meaning imminent ­ it can go through a
closed window. Smith (1983) where D was in the backyard and
V feared D would enter her room. The court held that V's fear
was sufficient as she feared what would happen next.
· Words indicating there will be no violence is not an assault ­
Tubrville v Savage (1669). However, it does depend on the
circumstances ­ Light (1857) it was held that words may not
be enough.
· The force does not need to be serious simply unlawful - raising
a fist, throwing a stone that misses or even unwanted
touching are all covered by assault.…read more

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· The application of unlawful force can cover the slightest touching ­
Collins v Wilcock (1984) where it was held that a police officer can
perform a battery if they unlawfully hold someone's arm but do not
arrest. She had a right to free herself and he was liable for battery.
· Touching a person to get their attention is acceptable as long as no
greater degree of physical contact occurs.
· The touching of clothing can be a battery ­ Thomas (1985) where D
touched a girls skirt it was held by the CoA that if someone touches the
clothing someone is wearing then this equivalent to touching them.
· The battery can be a continuing act ­ Fagan (1986) where D placed his
car on the officers foot. When the officer asked him to remove it he
refused to. It was held by the battery was committed fully when he left
the wheel on the officers foot.…read more

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· A battery can occur through an indirect act where the D does not
touch V but causes harm through an external object:
· Martin (1881): placed bar over theatre door so it would not open and
turned out the lights. During a rush to escape many injuries were causes
and so he was liable of s.20 of the OAPA 1861.
· DPP v K (1990): sulphuric acid case. Liable due to Queen's Bench Division
stating that a common assault can occur through an indirect act.
· Omission is sufficient: DPP v Santana-Bermudez (2003): failed to
tell police officer about a needle in his pocket during search. It
was held that D's failure to tell her was an assault under s.47 of
the OAPA (1861).
· Must be unlawful force ­ if consent is given then it is not unlawful.
If self-defence, prevention of a crime and defence of another can
be raised it is also not unlawful.…read more

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