Non-Fatal Offences

Assault

 

  • Assault and battery are two separate offences.
  • The maximum penalty for assault is six months’ imprisonment (s.39 Criminal Justice Act 1988.

 

Actus Reus

 

  •    Assault is committed where the defendant (D) causes the victim (V) to apprehend immediate unlawful personal violence.

 

Mens Rea

 

  •      Intention or recklessness as to causing V to apprehend immediate unlawful personal violence.

 

Battery

 

  •      The maximum penalty for battery is six months’ imprisonment (s.39 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988).

 

Actus Reus

 

  •      The infliction of unlawful personal force by one person upon another. This includes contact through objects and touching a person’s clothes while he or she wears them.

 

Mens Rea

 

  •      Intention or recklessness as to the infliction of unlawful personal force. (The same case law can be used from assault).

 

 

  • Assault Occasioning Actual Bodily Harm (s.47 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861)

 

  •      The maximum sentence for assault occasioning actual bodily harm is five years’ imprisonment.
  •      Examples of ABH include a bruise or a minor graze.

 

Actus Reus

 

  •      An assault or battery that causes actual bodily harm (ABH). “Actual bodily harm” (ABH) is defined as “any hurt or injury calculated to interfere with health or comfort”.

 

  • Maliciously Wounding or Inflicting Grievous Bodily Harm (s.20 -of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861)

 

  •      A ‘wound’ means a ‘break of the skin’. However, under this section a serious wound is e.g. permanent disability, broken bones or a serious psychiatric injury.

 

Actus Reus

 

  •     Any act that causes a “wound” or “grievous bodily harm”.

 

 

Mens Rea

 

  •     Intention or recklessness as to causing “some harm”.

 

 

Wounding or Causing Grievous Bodily Harm with Intent (s.18 Offences Against the Person Act 1861)

 

  •     The maximum sentence under s.18 is life imprisonment.

 

Actus Reus

 

  •     The actus reus under s.18 is the same under s.20.

 

Mens Rea

 

  • The core of the offence is intention.

 

Brown [1994] 1 AC 212

 

Wilson [1996] 3 WLR 125

 

R v Dica [2004] 3 W.L.R. 213 

 

R v Ireland [1998] AC 147

 

Tuberville v Savage (1669) 1 Mod Rep 3

 

Savage and Parmenter [1992] 1 AC 699

 

DPP v Santana Bermudez [2003] EWHC 2908 (Admin)

 

Donovan [1934] 2 KB 498

 

Chan-Fook [1994] 2 All ER 552

 

C v Eisenhower (1984) 78 Cr App R 48