TRESPASS TO THE PERSON

Assault battery and false imprisonment

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ASSAULT DEFINITION

There is no requirement for any physical contact between the D and the C. As long as he or she apprehends that some harm will occur.

A person commits assault where he intentionally and directly causes the C to apprehend that he is to be the victim of battery

BLAKE V BARNARD

The D pointed a gun at the C causing reasonable apprehension of a battery. The gun was in fact unloaded so even if he had fired C wouldn't be injured.

There was still an actionable assault because the C was in fear

An assault requires some active behaviour

INNES V WYLIE

There was no assault where a policeman merely stood at a door and barred the C entry. Behaviours was passive through obstruction, no indication of potential harm to the C

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READ V COKER

FACTS

Threatening behaviour can amount to an assault

The C owed D rent and the C was told to leave the premises. C refused. The D then ordered some of his employees to see C of premises. Surrounded him rolling up their sleeves and told him if he did not leave would break his neck.

OUTCOME

An actionable assault!

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STEPHENS V MYERS

Where there is an attempt to commit a battery but this is prevented, may still amount to an actionable assault as shown in this case

FACTS

A political meeting where the D tried to attack the C he was prevented from doing so as he was apprehended when he launched forward to the C

OUTCOME

Actionable assault, C could apprehend imminent battery

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WORDS

More problematic and the traditional view was that they could not.

TUBERVILLE V SAVAGE

FACTS

In an argument the D handled his sword and said if it were not assize time I would not take such language from you

OUTCOME

No battery because he was telling him he wasn't going to harm him so had no cause to feel fear

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SILENCE

R V IRELAND: R V BURSTOW

I these joint appeals the HOL dealt with the issue of silence. Both victims had suffered psychological harm and the HOL was prepared to accept this as actual bodily harm. Ireland made numerous silent phone calls. BURSTOW who was a stalker also made silent phone calls and sending anonymous letters

OUTCOME

There was an assault n both cases because they had reason to fear for their safety.

Court also recognises psychological damage caused to people.

The court let the law be widened as it now covered more things.

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BATTERY

Where the D intending the result does an act which directly and physically affects the person of the C

It is essentially the apication of unlawful force. Usually there is a need to show more than ordinary collisions of life such as bumping into someone on the street.

Direct and intentional force

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DIRECT INTERFERENCE

The law has been developed and replaced the distinction between direct and indirect force and replaced it with intentional application of force and negligent application

LETANG V COOPER

FACTS

A woman was sunbathing in the grounds of a hotel near to the car park. The D reversed over her legs injuring her. While there was no intention to hurt her there was direct harm caused by the D negligence.

OUTCOME

Claim failed because he didn't intend to hurt her, it was too late to sue for negligence

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SCOTT V SHEPHERD

Court have taken a liberal view to determine what is and what is not direct for win order to ensure the d who appears culpable is also liable

Shepherd was found liable for battery when he thrown a lighted firework into a market. The firework had been picked up and thrown a further two times before it exploded next to Scott injuring him.

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INDIRECT FORCE

GIBBONS V PEPPER

A horse was whipped and bolted. The C was run down and the D who had whipped the horse was found liable for C injuries n battery

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HOSTILITY

Fairly recent requirement

WILSON V PRINGLE

a 13 yr old school boy suffered injuries when his friend played a practical joke on him. The court held that hostility was a necessary element of an actionable battery

AO2 this seems to be out of step with previous presumption that subject to the everyday brushes of life any intentional unwanted contact could amount to a battery

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MEDICAL TREATMENT AND BATTERY

Depends on the consent of a person.

A surgeon who performs an operation without the patients consent commits a battery

RE F

A woman in a mental hospital with the mental age of approx 4 had become sexually active with another patient. Since other forms of contraception were considered unacceptable in the circumstances doctors applied to the court for a compulsory sterilisation in the interests of the patient. Treatment allowed as it was in the best interests

A competent adult patient can also refuse medical treatment even if it would result in death. To then treat somebody would be a battery

RE T

Needed a blood transfusion after car crash, she was a jehovah and reused it. Patient was delirious at time and acting Nader influence from mother. Doctors can transfusion as they acted in her best interests

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DEFENCES TO ASSAULT AND BATTERY

CONSENT (Valentin non fit injuria)

A doctor will be able to use the defence which is why the always try to gain written consent to non emergency treatment. However consent will be invalid and treatment may amount to a battery where a person is not aware of the type of treatment that is to be given

CHATTERTON V GERSON

In an operation for a hernia that C leg was rendered numb following an injection for a trapped nerve. Claimed she did not know all the potential consequences of the injection.

Claim failed as she was informed of the broad terms

SIDAWAY

Woman was paralysed after operation not been fully informed of the potential consequences so consent not valid. Claim successful

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SPORTING INJURIES and CONSENT

SIMMS V LEIGH RFC

A broken leg resulted from a tackle in the game. It was accepted that as a professional rugby player the C had accepted the normal risks of the activity

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NECESSITY

If the trespass to the person is to prevent greater harm then defence available. Example when a patient in need of medical treatment but does not have. Capacity to consent. Mst be in best interests

AIREDALE V BLAND

Bland in a persistent vegetative state, however he was able to breathe by himself. The removal of his feeding tube was seen to be in his best interests even though it would result in his death

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SELF DEFENCE

A person is entitled to protect theirselves against someone else. However the force must be reasonable.

LANE V HOLLOWAY

Claim successful as the D defence failed because the force used was not reasonable

REVILLE V NEWBURY

It was not reasonable force where a person shot a trespasser to his allotment through a hole n his shed

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INEVITABLE ACCIDENT

Alleged battery has to be beyond the control of the d and there will be no liability in trespass

STANLEY V POWELL

A beater was shot during a grouse hunt. It was an inevitable accident because it was shown the man was not shot directly, the bullet had ricochet off a tree.

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FALSE IMPRISONMENT

Where the D intentionally imposes a total restraint on the liberty and free movement of the C.

There will be no action if there is a reasonable means of escape open to the C

WRIGHT V WILSON

Escape from the alleged tortfeaser was available though it meant trespassing on someone else's land. That was sufficient to prevent liability

Restraint must be direct

SAYERS V HARLOW URBAN DISTRICT

Became locked in a lavatory because the lock jammed. This was negligence rather than false imprisonment

Can occur without C being aware of it, could even be unconscious

MEERING V GRAHAM WHITE

Unknown to the man being questioned 2 men were blocking door preventing his escape. This was false imprisonment

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FALSE IMPRISONMENT

Will not be a false imprisonment if the C is obliged to pay for his release, providing there has already been a voluntary agreement to this effect.

ROBINSON V BALMAIN

C obliged to a penny to enter and a penny to leave. When he missed his ferry he changed his mind and wished to exit. Gate manager would not let him go without paying which he refused. This was not a false imprisonment

Will not be a false imprisonment where an employer has expectation an employee will stay to the end of their shift

HERD V WEARDALE

Mners felt what they had been asked to do by employer was too dangerous and wanted out, the employer refused. Court held no FI since men were contracted to stay down the mine till end of shift

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DEFENCES FOR FI

CONSENT

Example when a lawyer is locked in a cell with his client for confidential consultation

MISTAKEN ARREST

only available to the police, must be reasonable force

TREDAWAY V CHIEF CONSTABLE OF WEST MIDLANDS

Medical evidence supported the C allegation hat while police were interviewing him they had placed a bag over his head and threatened to suffocate him

LAWFUL ARREST

Useful to store detectives but have to be certain an offence has been committed.

WHITE V W P BROWN

FI when a lady suspected of shoplifting was locked in a cubicle for 15 minutes

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INTENTIONAL INDIRECT HARM

WILKINSON V DOWNTOWN

The C suffered shock when the D told her that her husband as a joke had been seriously injured. No direct interference but there was intentional indirect harm

In WAINWRIGHT V HOME OFFICE the HOL had to decide whether tort still existed. They decided it did however in the case there was no liability for distress caused

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