Assault

Assault

Assault is defined in S.39 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988

Actus Reus: The actus reus of assault is that the defendant causes the victim to apprehend immediate and unlawful violence (Logdon)

An assault can occur despite the fact there is a window between the defendant and the victim (Smith V Chief Superintendent of Working Police)

Words or silence can constitute an assault (Ireland) (Constanza)

(Ireland) - terrorised victim with silent phone calls resulting in psychiatric injury

(Constanza) - stalked victim, sent 800 letters in a period of 4 months, held that the content of letters were threats

Words can also make it clear an assault will not happen (Turbeville V Savage)

Mens Rea: The mens rea is that the defendant intends to cause the victim to apprehed immediate physical violence or does this recklessly.

Cunningham - recklessness is taking an unjustified risk, D must realise the risk of the consequence and decide to take the risk. Savage - intention to cause apprehension

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Battery

Battery is defined in S.39 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988

Actus Reus: The actus reus of battery is the application of unlawful physical force to the victim (Collins V Willcock).

Court also said that touching someones clothing while they are wearing them is equivilant to touching him or her (Thomas)

Battery can also occur through an indirect act (Haystead)

Mens Rea: Mens rea for battery is satisfied if there is intention to apply physical force or be reckless as to whether force should be applied. 

(Venna) - Defendant was judged to be reckess as to whether force was applied

(Savage) - Intention to apply unlawful physical force to the victim

6 months

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ABH

ABH is stated in the Offences Against The Person Act 1861, it is a triable either way offence and has a prison sentence of 5 years.

Actus Reus: the actus reus of ABH is an assault or battery occasioning actual bodily harm. Occasioning relates to the degree of harm caused

(Miller) - ABH includes any hurt or injurt calculated that interfers with the health and comfort of the victim

(Chan Fook) - Court said harm should not be so trivial as to be wholly insignificant. Court also said harm means injury, and psychiatric injury is capable of being ABH

(Smith) - cutting hair off pony tail amounded to ABH, so bodily extended to a persons hair

(T V DPP) - Defendant chased and kicked the victim who went unconscious for a period of time

Mens Rea: Intention or recklessness as to cause an assault or battery.

(Roberts - defendant has the mens rea to cause battery) (Savage - defendant intentionally caused more serious injury) (Paramenter - D was reckless for battery causing ABH)

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GBH

* GBH is the offence of inflicting GBH or malciously wounding. GBH is found in the Offences Against The person Act 1861 and there are two types S20 & S18. Differences is S18 has a life imprisonment, where as S20 gives 5 years.

Actus Reus S20: requires that the defendant wounds or inflict GBH to the victim

Actus Reus S18: requires that the defendant wounds or causes GBH to the victim

(Burstow - highlights there us little difference in the AR of the two offences, Inflict and cause mean the same thing)

GBH menas really serious harm, but the harm does not have to be life threatening. (Bollom) (Dica)

A wound means a cut or break in the continuity of the skin. Internal bleeding is not sufficient (JCC V Eisenhower)

Mens Rea S20: Defendant did not intend to cause serious harm but was reckless. Savage - required mens rea to be reckless. Case Example (Mowatt)

Mens Rea S18: Defendant intends to cause GBH to the victim (Belfon)

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