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Malicious Wounding / Inflicting GBH with Intent
Under Section 18 of The Offences Against the Person Act 1861 there is a more serious
form of malicious wounding or inflicting gbh. The actus reus is virtually the same as for a
S20 offence.
The mens rea of a Section 18 offence
It must be shown that the defendant intended (direct or oblique) serious harm or to have
intended to resist or prevent the lawful arrest of a person. Recklessness is not sufficient, nor
is intention of some harm.
R v Belfon (1976) CA
The defendant slashed his victim with a razor causing severe wounds to his face and chest.
He was convicted under Section 18. The trial judge had told the jury to convict if they were
satisfied that the defendant had foreseen gbh as a probable result of his actions. He
appealed. His appeal was upheld: the prosecution had to establish that it was the
defendant's purpose to do some gbh, and recklessness was not sufficient.


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