Assault

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Common Assault

"Any act which intentionally or recklessly causes another person to apprehend immediate and unlawful violence"

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Battery

An application of force. The smallest degree of physical contact will be sufficient for the offence of battery. 

Force can be applied directly or indirectly - ex. A defendant who struck a woman causing her to drop her baby was covicted of assaulting the child indirectly.

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Actual Bodily Harm

Sec 47 Offences Against the Persons Act 1861

An assualt resulting in injury.

Typical injuries:

  • Loss or breaking of teeth
  • Extensive or multiple bruising
  • Minor fractures or cuts needing stiching
  • Psychiatric injury beyond fear, distress or panic
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Assault Police

"Any person who assaults a constable in the execution of his duty, or a person assisting a constable in the execution of his duty shall be guilty of an offence."

Sec 89(1) Police Act 1996

Power of arrest is police only.

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Obstruct Police

"Any person who wilfully obstructs a constable in the execution of his duty, or a person assisting a constable in the execution of his duty, shall be guilty of an offence."

Sec 89(2) Police Act 1996

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Designated/Accredited Person

"Any person who assaults a designated or accredited person in the execution of his duty, or a person assisting a designated or accredited person in the execution of his duty, shall be guilty of an offence."

Sec 46(1) Police Reform Act 2002

"Any person who reists or wilfully obstructs a designated or accredited person in the execution of his duty, or a person assisting a designated or accredited person in the execution of his duty shall be guilty of an offence."

Sec46(2) Police Reform Act 2002

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Unlawful Wounding

"Whosoever shall unlawfully and maliciously wound or inflict any grievous bodily harm upon any person either with or without any weapon or instrument shall be guilty of an offence"

Sec 20 Offences against the Persons Act 1861

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GBH with Intent

"Whosoever shall unlawfully and maliciously by any means wounds or causes grievous bodily harm to any person with intent to do some grievous bodily harm or with intent to resist or prevent the lawful apprehension or detainer of any person is guilty of an offence"

Sec 18 Offences Against the Persons Act 1861

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'Unlawfully', 'Maliciously', 'Wound'

Unlawfully -

Acting without authority of law. Acting in reasonable self-defence may be lawful. A police officer acting with reasonable force is lawful.

Maliciously -

Behaving recklessly; with the realisation that actions may cause harm as recognised by a reasonable person.

Wound -

All layers of skin are broken; splitting of the mouth.

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Grievous Bodily Harm

Serious bodily harm.

Typical injuries:

  • Broken bones
  • Substantial loss of blood
  • Serious head injury

"By any means whatsoever" - by direct application of force, ex. punching, use of a weapon, or by indirect application of force, ex. throwing a brick.

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Defences to Assault

Consent permissable - when an assault does not involve an illegal purpose, where the assault is not excessive, where there is true consent.

Untrue consents include - consent given by those with mental illness, consent to injuries recieved by sado-masochism, consent given by those under the age of 16 concerning sexual assault by touching.

Legal justification - lawful correction (parent and child), reasonable force applied in self defence, reasonable force used in the execution of legal right or duty.

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