Non-fatal Offences Against the Person

  • Created by: phoebs.b
  • Created on: 02-04-18 13:17

DPP v Little (1992) - the word 'assault' can be a collective noun encompassing the separate crimes of technical assault and battery. 

Haystead v Chief Constable of Derbyshire (2000) - the defendant struck a woman who was holding her baby. As a result of the blows she dropped the baby. The defendant was charged with battering the baby. It was held that he was properly convicted because he had caused unlawful force to be applied to the baby when the baby hit the floor. It is possible to commit a battery indirectly, for example through an object or by pushing someone into the victim.

R v Venna (1975) - formed the mens rea of an assault. The defendant intends the victim to have the apprehension referred to in the actus reus, or the defendant foresees (i.e. is reckless) that the victim might have such apprehension. 

R v Lamb (1967) - the defendant, in jest, pointed a revolver at the victim, who joined in the game. The revolver had five chambers, in two of which were live bullets, neither of which was in the chamber opposite the barrel when the defendant pulled the trigger. The chamber rotated before firing, a bullet was struck by the striking pin and the victim, the defendant's friend, was killed. The Court of Appeal held that the prosecution had been unable to prove the defendant had the mens rea for assault (intention or recklessness to cause the victim to apprehend immediate unlawful harm). Apprehend does not mean fear. It means expect. The victim may be in fear, but the victim does not have to be afraid for there to be an expectation. However, if the victim does not expect to be harmed, there is no technical assault. 

R v Constanza (1997) - The defendant wished to form a relationship with the victim, who did not reciprocate. The defendant followed the victim, sent her more than 800 letters, telephoned her on numerous occasions, only speaking sometimes, watched her house from his car, and wrote on her door. There was medical evidence that the defendant's actions caused the victim to suffer from a clinical state of depression and anxiety. He appealed against his conviction under s47 on the ground that her fear of violence was not sufficiently immediate. The Court of Appeal dismissed his appeal, holding that it was sufficient for the prosecution to prove a fear of violence at some time not excluding the immediate future. It was not essential that the victim was able to see the potential perpetrator of the violence, and conduct accompanying words was capable of making the words an assault. 

Tuberville v Savage (1669) - words may negate what would otherwise by an assault (e.g. where the defendant raises a fist and says 'I would hit you but the police are nearby). 

R v Ireland (1998) - The defendant made a large number of telephone calls to three women and remained silent when they answered. A psychiatrist who examined the women stated…


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