Offences against a person

AS, unit 2, AQA

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  • Created by: Chloe
  • Created on: 09-06-10 13:09

Common Assault

Assault= 2 meanings.
1. general term, for physical attack on another person.
2. a specific type of offence.

Common assault is the lowest level of offence against a person. The two types of common assault= assault and battery.

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To commit this offence the defendant must intentionally or subjectively recklessly cause another, to fear immediate, unlawful personal violence.

requires some act or words, there is no need for physical. The actus reus is completed when the defendant does any act or says, something which causes victim to believe that unlawful force is about to be used. E.g. pointing a loaded gun at someone within range.

Fear of violence:
The act or words must cause the victim to fear that immediate force is going to be used, against them. Where the violence is possible in the immediate future, then the actus reus, for an assault can exist.

Words of an assault:
Words are sufficient for an assault. Even silent phone calls can be an assault. Victim may fear phone calls, are trying to find out where they live.

Either the intention to cause another to fear immediate unlawful personal violence. To be reckless the defendant must realise the risk his acts could cause.

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This is a stage beyond assault. Where the defendant intentionally applies unlawful force to another. In many situation there will be an assault followed by battery. E.g. raising fist at Victim then punching them.

There must! be some force. This can be the slightest touch. Force may be a continuing act, E.g. Fagan v Metropolitan Police Commander 1968. D parked car, one tyre on police officers foot, and left it there for a few minutes. Battery can also be indirect act, such as a booby trap.

MENS REA FOR BATTER Must either be, intention to apply unlawful physical force, or recklessness that the force will be applied.

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Wounding and GBH

These are section 20 and section 18, of the offences against a person act 1861. The actus reus is almost the same in both s20, and s18 offences = defendant wounds or inflicts/ causes GBH on victim.

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Means a cut or break in the continuity of the whole skin. A cut of internal skin E.g. in cheek is sufficient. But internal bleeding where there is no cut to the skin, is not sufficient. E.g. JCC v Eisenhower 1983= it IN eye with a shotgun pellet.

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Grievous Bodily Harm

Means really! serious harm. But harm does not have to be life threatening, it can be psychiatric. A disease can also be GBH. Dica 2001. Charged under s20 of offence against a person act 1861. Had sex, with 2 women, knew he was H.I.V positive. Both women contracted H.I.V.

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Section 20 offence

Unlawful malicious wound, or inflict GBH, with or without a weapon, shall be guilty.

Mens rea- the defendant, must intend to cause harm. There is no need for the defendant to foresee serious injury, but must realise the risk of injury. E.g Parmenter 1991.

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Section 18 offence

Unlawful, malicious means to wound or cause GBH, WITH intent to do some Grevious bodily harm. Or intent to resist unlawful apprehension.

S18 is more serious then S20. S20 can serve a maximum of 5 years imprisonment, S18 can serve life.

Section 18 is a specific intent offence.

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