Unit 3 - Evaluation of Non-Fatal Offences

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Key words/Phrases used in S47, S20 and S18
not defined in statute law so definitions have to be interpretted through cases. Not appropriate that statutory offence terminology such as occasioning, inflicting and grievous is evolving through cases and appeals, leads to inconsistent sentencing.
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Old fashioned languag, use of word Maliciously
language is badly drafter and used inconsistently, an example of this is the word maliciously in s20 and s18, dictionar definition is to desire harm to others, in s18 can mean recklessly or intentionally.
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Reforms for wording of malicious
Reforms would suggest that the word maliciously would no longer be used only the terms recklessly or intentionally would be used, in the appropriate section and resisting arrest would be removed.
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Maximum sentence s47 ABH
For assault the maximum sentence is 6 months while the max sentence for s47 ABH is 5 years, the only difference is that the victim suffers ABH. The max sentence jumps 4.5 years just because the victim suffered a minor injury
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Maximum sentence s20
S20 has the same max sentence as ABh yet s20 requires the victim to suffer a serious injury and there is greater stigma attached to being convicted of GBH
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Maximum sentence s18
Max sentence for s18 is life imprisonment, large gap from the 5 year max sentence for s20 when the only difference is D's mens rea
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Reforms for max sentences, include consulation papers and draft bills
Law Commission Consultation paper 217 approve of most of 1998 Draft Bills suggestiongs. S47 replaced with intentional or reckless injury, max sentence still 5 years but D now must have MR for the injury making the MR different to assault and battery.
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Reforms continued..
Report 217 suggests there should be a new offence for causing minor injuries, would come before the new s47 and would be for injuries that wouldnt get over 6 months, so injuried sustained by the V for intentional or reckless injury wil be substantial
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Reforms continued..
The new s20; recklessly causing serious injury to another has a max of 7 years sentence and s18 max sentence remains life imprisonment, goes some way in solving problem
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Separate offences in s18 and s20
One offence concerns the extent of injury (GBH) the other concerns method of injury (wound) definition of wound is break in both layers on skin, this can be a pin ***** which is not serious injury. Resulted in police undercharging.
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Reform for separate offences
1998 Draft Bill replaces s20 and s18 with recklessly causing serious injury or intentionally causing serious injury, removing reference to wouning, resolving wording criticism
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Meaning of word "immediate"
Criticised for being unclear, confusion of immediate apprehension and apprehension of immediate violence, issue needs to be clarified
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Inconsistent MR of s20 and s47
Some disapprove of constructing liability without the MR for the injury, in s20 D can be found guilty even though they had no MR for serious harm only some.
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Possible reforms for inconsistent MR
Divide s47 into two offences, one intentionally causing injury to another and the less serious second offence of recklessly causing injury to another
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Illogical numbering in sections
Can cause confusion due to illogical numbering in relation to seriousness of offence. Example is s18 being the most serious offence yet the lowest number.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

language is badly drafter and used inconsistently, an example of this is the word maliciously in s20 and s18, dictionar definition is to desire harm to others, in s18 can mean recklessly or intentionally.

Back

Old fashioned languag, use of word Maliciously

Card 3

Front

Reforms would suggest that the word maliciously would no longer be used only the terms recklessly or intentionally would be used, in the appropriate section and resisting arrest would be removed.

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

For assault the maximum sentence is 6 months while the max sentence for s47 ABH is 5 years, the only difference is that the victim suffers ABH. The max sentence jumps 4.5 years just because the victim suffered a minor injury

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

S20 has the same max sentence as ABh yet s20 requires the victim to suffer a serious injury and there is greater stigma attached to being convicted of GBH

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
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