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Can be private nature, e.g. domestic
Public character, e.g. such as fights during
a political demonstration, pub brawls, deliberate beatings OR
Mixture (e.g. a stalker harasses a number of
women in a neighbourhood).
Frequently, the injury is a physical one,
but the victim suffers mental harm requiring psychiatric or psychological
help provided the injury is more than simply panic, fear or distress;
R v Chan-Fook  "Bodily harm" was held in to include
psychiatric injury and also in
R v Ireland ,
R v Burstow 
R v Constanza  and in
R v Dica (2003) biological GBH (the spreading of HIV).
Protection From Harassment Act 1997
provides both criminal and civil redress in cases of harassment. It
contains two principal crimes
1. harassment (section 2),
2. putting people in fear of violence (section 4).
Assault and Battery
An assault is any act by which someone,
intentionally or recklessly, causes another person to apprehend immediate
and personal violence.
Spoken words can amount to an assault
R v Ireland  as can silent phone calls.
shaking a fist at someone
Stephens v Myers (1830)
showing a gun
Logdon v DPP
frightened person injured escaping
R v Roberts (1971)
setting a dog on
R v Dume
Smith v Superintendent of Woking Police Station (1983)
D assaulted a woman at about 11 pm by peering through a window of her
ground-floor bed-sitting room and thus frightening her, indicate that the
element of "immediacy" of the threat is construed loosely.
Any intentional or reckless
touching of another person without the consent of that person and without
The concept of a "battery" covers homicide
and many sexual offences down to the very minor.
Fagan v Metropolitan Police Commissioner 
D accidentally drove onto a policeman's foot. Having realised that he had
done this, he left the car on the foot. This was held to be an assault.
R v Venna  A person committing assault or battery recklessly,
only Cunningham (i.e. subjective) recklessness is sufficient for
reaffirmed by the House of Lords in
R v Savage ;
R v Parmenter 
Section 39 Criminal Justice Act 1988
"Common assault and battery shall be summary
offences and a person guilty of either of them shall be liable to a fine
not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale, to imprisonment for a term
not exceeding six months, or to both."
grazes; scratches; abrasions; minor bruising; swellings; reddening of the
skin; superficial cuts; or a "black eye".
|Code for Crown Prosecutors Charging Standard - Offences Against The Person
||The quality of an act determines which offence is charged, so to provide consistency throughout the UK each injury is categorised in the CPS Code which can be found here.
Victim must apprehend imminent violence
Although an assault may take the form of a
'failed battery', as where D's blow fails to connect with V, assault is
always a result crime.
No assault can be committed
unless the threats are actually perceived by the victim.
There is no assault if a stone thrown by D
flies past V's head without him noticing. If, however, D threatens V with
an imitation firearm, this will indeed amount to an assault, unless V
knows that the weapon cannot fire see
Logdon v DPP .
If V does apprehend the threat of imminent
violence, it does not matter whether he is frightened by it. He may relish
the opportunity to teach D a lesson, and yet still be regarded as the
victim of D's assault.
Actual Bodily Harm (ABH)
Section 47 Offences Against the Person Act 1861
"Whosoever shall be convicted upon an
indictment of any assault occasioning actual bodily harm shall be liable
to imprisonment for not more than five years".
Actual bodily harm
loss or breaking of a tooth or teeth; temporary loss of sensory functions
(which may include loss of consciousness); extensive or multiple bruising;
displaced broken nose; minor fractures; minor, but not very superficial,
cuts of a sort probably requiring medical treatment (e.g. stitches); or
psychiatric injury which is more than fear.
Wounding and Grievous Bodily Harm Sec 20
Section 20 Offences Against the Person Act 1861
"Whosoever shall unlawfully and maliciously
wound or inflict any grievous bodily harm upon any other person, either
with or without any weapon or instrument shall be guilty of (an offence)
and being convicted thereof shall be liable to imprisonment (for a maximum
of five years)."
Grievous bodily harm
injury resulting in permanent disability or permanent loss of sensory
function; injury which results in more than minor permanent, visible
disfigurement; broken or displaced limbs or bones, including fractured
skull, compound fractures, broken cheek bone, jaw, ribs etc; injuries
which cause substantial loss of blood, usually necessitating a
transfusion; and injuries resulting in lengthy treatment or incapacity.
Wounding and GBH
entail serious harm but the injury need not be life-threatening, nor need
it be intended as such.
In law wounds require a breaking of the continuity of the whole of the
outer skin, or inner skin within the cheek or lip. Rupture of internal
blood vessels is excluded. Minor wounds should not result in a section 20
Moriarty v Brookes (1834) requires a wound which is breaking both
layers of the skin or "grievous bodily harm".
DPP v Smith  "grievous means no
more and no less than 'really serious'",
R v Saunders  the word
"seriously" could safely be omitted,
R v Janjua (1998); R v Choudhury (1998)
the trial judge should decide whether or not to include "really"
R v Brown & Stratton 
whether the injury amounts to grievous or
merely actual bodily harm is to be judged objectively according to the
standards of ordinary usage and experience.
Grievous Bodily Harm with intent
Section18: "Whosoever shall
unlawfully and maliciously by any means whatsoever wound or cause any
grievous bodily harm to any person with intent to do some grievous bodily
harm to any person or with intent to resist or prevent the lawful
apprehension or detainer of any person, shall be guilty of an offence, and
being convicted thereof shall be liable to imprisonment for life"
There are four
offences under this section:
(a) Wound or (b) cause any
grievous bodily harm to any person
with intent to do
some grievous bodily harm to any person
or with intent to
resist or prevent the lawful apprehension or detainer of any person ...
The greater mens rea requirement in section 18 means that it should be
reserved for the more serious cases, as where there is:
a repeated or planned attack; deliberate selection of a weapon or
adaptation of an article to cause injury, such as breaking a glass before
an attack; making prior threats; or using an offensive weapon against, or
kicking, the victim's head.
Note also that the ulterior intent in
section 18 may consist of an intent to resist or prevent the lawful
apprehension or detainer of any person, and in these cases there must
obviously be evidence of such an intent.
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