Ireland (1997) and Burstow (1997): Silent telephones were exchanged – these can be seen as a form of assault if the victim fears the possibility of an immediate attack. This fear does not need to be rational. These cases also ruled that a Section 20 offence can be committed without an assault or battery involving either direct or indirect force, and ‘inflict’ should have the same meaning as ‘cause’
Constanza (1997): The defendant wrote the victim 812 letters – the court held that words alone can be an assault since the victim feared an imminent attack.
Tuberville and Savage (1669): Words are able to prevent an assault from occurring if they make clear that the victim will not suffer immediate harm – therefore eradicating fear.
Smith v Chief Superintendant of Woking Police Station (1983): In this case, fear of what the accused might be likely to do next was held sufficiently immediate for the purposes of the offence (victim caught the defendant staring through her window; was unsure as to their next move).
Collins v Willcock (1984): This case followed the stencil set by previous ones in that even the slightest touch (in this case, holding an arm) can amount to a battery.
DPP v K (1990): This case confirmed the fact that a battery can be committed by an…