Trespass to the Person

An act which causes someone to apprehend the actual infliction of unlawful force onto his person. (Collins v Wilcock)

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Elements of an assault are;

Intentional & Direct: the act committed must be viewed as being all one action and must be committed with the intent to make someone become scared. Letang v Cooper involved L sunbathing in a car park and she got ran over by D who was driving into the car park but didn't see her. There was no assault as D hadn't intended to cause fear in C.

Conduct: Initially words alone couldn't amounto to an assault and words had to be accompanied by actiosn such as rolling up your sleeves or showing a fist which actually makes people apprehend the infliction of unlawful force on themselves. Meade v Belt involved two D's shooting their victim. One of the D's had told customs about C's smugglign activities and this angered C and therefore C came to D's house and sang songs of menace. The court held that singing songs of menace did not amount to an assault. This was confirmed in Read v Coker where D was behind on his rent and C had told him to leave his premises but D refused. C told his men to make D leave and the mens surrounded D, rolled up their sleeves and said they would break his neck. This was an assualt as words were accompanied by actions. BUT R v Ireland and R v Burstow changed this and stated that words alone can amounto to an assault and in fact silent phone calls can amount to an assault. In Ireland, C was getting silent phone calls and this created fear in her and therefore was granted an injuction. However these an criminal cases and are therefor persuasive to civil courts. Words can cancel out a potential assualt too and this ws the case in Tuberville v Savage where a man held a sword in his hand and stated that ''if it wasn't assize time, I wouldn't take such langauage from you.'' D got scared and hit him and it was found that he hadn't committed the assualt but rather the Claimant. 

Reasonable Fear; The fear that is created must be a reasonable fear and must be proportionate to the danger ahead. Also the action/threat must be capable of being carried out when said. This was illustrated in Stepehns v Myers where Mwanted to go and attack S when they all stated that M should leave the business. M states he would rather pull S off a chair than walk out and as he was going upto S other people around stopped M and stated that if they hadn't stopped M, he would have hit S. This was an assault and reasonable fear was evident. 

Immedicacy is also another element and this was shown in Thomas v NUM where C was in a van surrounded by police during a strike from the miners. The courts used the reasonable man to decide that there was no assault as the reasonable man wouldn't have been afraid if he was surroiunded by police and in a van.

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