Assault, Battery, Assault occasioning actual bodily harm (ABH), s.20 GBH/wounding, s.18 GBH with intent

HideShow resource information
  • Created by: Louise
  • Created on: 09-05-11 18:51

ASSAULT (A.R = actus reus) (M.R = mens rea)

Summary offence - magistrates court - max sentence of 6 months or £5,000 fine

A.R - to cause the victim to apprehend, immediate, unlawful personal violence

it does not matter if the victim is actually in danger, as long as he/she thinks he is (Logdon v DPP)

Words can also be an assault - as can silence (R v Ireland) but words can also negate an assault (Turberville v Savage)

courts interpret the concept of immediacy quite widely, taking it to mean 'at some point in the future' (Fagin v Superintendant of Woking Police)

M. R - intention or subjective recklassness. 

Also known as the Cunningham recklassness - this means that the defendant is aware of the risk but goes ahead regardless

1 of 5

BATTERY (A.R = actus reus) (M.R = mens rea)

Summary offence - magistrates court

A.R - infliction of unlawful personal violence.  There will often also be an assault and this is known as a common assault

Hostility is a necessary ingredient (Brown and others)

'Violence' is misleading - D has to touch V without lawful excuse - this can include clothes (R v Thomas)

Battery can be indirect as in R v Martin or Fagin v Metropolitan Police Commissioner

M.R - intention or subjective recklassness as to the infliction of unlawful personal violence.

2 of 5

ABH (A.R = actus reus) (M.R = mens rea)

Defined in s.47 of the Offences Against the Persons Act 1861 -

Either way offence - max sentence of 5 years

It is defined in R v Miller as 'any hurt or injury calculated to interfere with the health or comfort of the V provided it is not 'merely transient or trifling''

Psychological harm can apply but must more than 'mere emotions' (R v Chanfook)

A.R - assault or battery causing actual bodily harm

M.R - intention or recklassness as to the application if unlawful force - not necessary intend the actual injury which occured

this is illustrated in R v Savage - D intended to throw drink at V (battery), so mens rea was sufficent for the cut wrist which actually occured.

3 of 5

S.20 WOUNDING/GBH (A.R = actus reus) (M.R = mens r

Malicious wounding/GBH is defined in s.20 OAPA 1861

A.R of wounding - all layers of skin to be broken (C v Eisenhower)

A.R of GBH - defined as 'really serious harm' (R v Saunders)

GBH can be biological (R v Dica)

M.R - intention/recklassness as to some harm

Illustrated by R v Grimshaw - D convicted when punched V and glass went into face causing serious injury - intended some harm if not neccessarily the serious injury so the mens rea was present.

4 of 5

S.18 GBH WITH INTENT (A.R = actus reus) (M.R = men

GBH with intent is defined in s.18 OAPA 1861

Indictable offence - crown court - max sentence of life

A.R - to wound or inflict serious harm (GBH) as in s.20

M.R - specific intent to cause the wounding/GBH (R v Woolin/R v Nedrick).

The use of a weapon will make intention easier to prove/establish

There is also an offence here of intent to resist unlawful arrest - to make attacks on law enforcers more serious as a matter of policy

5 of 5


No comments have yet been made

Similar Law resources:

See all Law resources »See all Criminal law resources »