Assault & Battery

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Assault and battery are two different offences together called 'common assault'.

the word 'common' is used because all the definitions of the offences come under common law.

the distinction between the two offences is that assault is based on the person or victim feeling the fear of suffering harm, whereas battery is the actual harm. both these crimes require actus reus and mens rea to be able to explain accurately.

assault: the actus reus of assault is any act which causes the victim to apprehend an immediate infliction of unlawful violence. e.g- waving a fist in someone's face or pointing a gun at somoeone in an aggressive manner. The Supreme Court said in Savage (1991)- the mens rea is an intention to cause the victim to apprehend unlawful and immediate violence or recklessness.

Element 1: causing the victim to apprehend, there is not need for any physical contact between the defendant and victim. it only focuses on what was about to happen to the victim, so even if the defendant meant his threat as a joke, it is still accounted as an assault if the victim was genuinely frightened…


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