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R v Chan-Fook

[1994] 1 WLR 689

Case summary last updated at 14/01/2020 17:37 by the Oxbridge Notes in-house law team.

Judgement for the case R v Chan-Fook

A man was locked in a room upstairs in a house after aggressive interrogation by a man about a stolen wedding room. Through fear he jumped out of the window and injured himself. One of the points made by the prosecution was that the victim had been reduced to such a panic-stricken state that this psychiatric condition alone constituted actual bodily harm. The judge directed that actions causing a “hysterical and nervous condition” = actual bodily harm. This was despite no evidence by psychologists, doctors etc. The CA allowed the appeal and said that though a psychological illness could = actual bodily harm, this should not be left to the jury and the victim’s state of mind should not be considered during or immediately after the attack. (They could have got a conviction on occasioning actual bodily harm if the injuries sustained from jumping out of the window were serious enough, since the action of the complainant was “reasonably foreseeable (Roberts test)” in the situation, while a conviction on common assault could have stood since the defendant caused him to fear violence and was at least reckless in doing so) 

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