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Actus reus Mens rea Case law
Assault Any act that causes the victim to The intention to cause the victim to Logdon 1976 Pointing a gun at a
Assault and battery are summary apprehend immediate infliction of fear harm. person is at least recklessness so
offences, so are tried in the unlawful violence (threat of force Includes direct, oblique and constitutes assault.
Magistrates' Court. Max. 6 causing someone to fear harm or recklessness. Smith v CSWPS 1983 The victim
months imprisonment or a £5000 violence). There is no need for saw the defendant standing outside
fine. physical contact; actions or words Savage 1991 this confirms that the the window of her flat. Although on
are sufficient. The violence mens rea is direct, oblique and the other side of the window the
threatened must be immediate and recklessness. victim still feared harm. Actions
unlawful. An omission is insufficient. sufficient w/o words.
Ireland Silent phone calls = assault
if victim feared violence
Battery The unlawful application of force The intention or recklessness to Thomas 1985 ruled that touching a
upon another. It may only be slight apply force to another. person's clothes is equivilant to
force. touching the person.
Consent can make battery legal, e.g. Venna 1976 Resisting arrest and Haystead 2000 indirect force is
hairdressers. was reckless as to whether he sufficient for battery (girlfriend was
Indirect force is sufficient, e.g. caused battery sufficient mens rea punched, and she dropped her
throwing something at a person, baby)
booby traps, holding someone down
ABH s.47 Assault occasioning (leading to) ABH The intention or recklessness to Chan Fook 1994 Definition of
Triable either way Crown or 3 things have to be proven; assault or battery, e.g. the intention injuries for ABH. Emotion is
Magistrates' Court. Maximum of 5 (i) Assault and / or battery; to threaten and / or use force. insufficient without evidence for
years custodial. (ii) Causation; psychiatric injury.
(iii) Harm an injury which is Roberts 1971 Defendant had the Smith 2006 ABH includes hair, so all
not wholly insignificant. mens rea for battery, the injuries parts of the body (partner cut ex's
were a consequence, and therefore hair).
defendant had sufficient mens rea
for ABH s.47.
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GBH s.20 This is unlawful malicious wounding Malicious intent or recklessness as to JCC v Eisenhower 1984 A wound
Triable either way Crown or or inflicting of grievous bodily harm cause harm (not necessarily serious requires breaking of the skin.
Magistrates' Court. Maximum of 5 on any person harm) Internal bleeding does not count
years imprisonment (i) It must be unlawful; (defendant fired airgun in victim's
(ii) Must be either eye).…read more