Non Fatals

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Actus Reus- cause the victim to apprehend immediate unlawful force (Miller)

Mens Rea- intentionally/recklessly cause the victim to apprehend immediate unlawful force.

  • silent phone calls amount to assault- (R v Ireland) D made a large number of telephone calls to women and remaining silent when they answered. A psychiatrist stated that as a result of the repeated telephone calls each of them had suffered psychological damage.
  • rising a fist amounts to assault- (Read v Coker) D and his men surrounded P, rolling up their sleeves, and threatened to break P's neck if he did not leave. P was a rent collector who entered D's workshop and refused to go until the rent was paid.
  • words alone amount to assault- (R v Wilson)- D said "get the knives out"
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Actus reus: unlawful application of force (Collins v Wilcock) D refused to speak to a policewoman. The WPC took hold of D's arm to restrain her. D scratched the WPC's arm

Mens Rea: intent to apply unlawful force or be reckless

  • slightest touch amounts to battery
  • DPP v K;  D placed acid in the drier to hide it from teachers at school, V used the drier and acid caused burns to his face
  • R v Thomas;  Caretaker of school held the hem of a 12 year old girls skirt
  • Haystead; D caused victim to drop baby by punching him

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Actus Reus: any assault/battery which results in 'any harm or injury calculated to interfere with the well being of the victim' (Rv Miller)-

Mens Rea: intentionally or recklessly inflict unlawful physical force

R v Chan Fook; the actual bodily harm may be psychological

R v Morris; the psychological harm must be a medical condition not mere emotion

R v Roberts; D made advances to V in the car, V jumped out of the moving car sustaining injuries 

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Malicious Wounding S20

Actus Reus: any breaking of 2 layers of the skin ( JCC v Eisenhower)

Mens Rea: Maliciously cause some harm

R v Saunders; 'really serious harm' - D punched V in the face causing V to suffer a broken nose and other injuries

R v Dica; D slept with two women knowing he was HIV positive- a disease can constitute GBH


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Wounding/ Causing GBH with intent S18

Actus Reus: to cause grievous bodily harm or wounding

Mens Rea: intention to cause GBH or intent to resist arrest or intention to prevent the arrest of another 

Mens Rea for section 18 requires intention as it is a crime of specific intent

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