A more recent version of these Non Fatal Offences Against The Person notes – written by Cambridge/Bpp/College Of Law students – is available here.
The following is a more accessble plain text extract of the PDF sample above, taken from our GDL Criminal Law Notes. Due to the challenges of extracting text from PDFs, it will have odd formatting:
Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person _______________________________________________________ Assault Actus Reus Collins v Wilcock
? Lord Goff: "An act which intentionally and directly causes another person to apprehend the infliction of immediate unlawful force" What type of force?
R v Ireland and Burstow D had a brief relationship with V which she ended; he then stalker her &
smashed her car - and broke into her house. Stole her letters & carried out an extensive catalogue of harassment. V suffered a nervous breakdown. Held: there is no need for physical contact to found liability for assault HOWEVER the apprehension must be of physical, not psychological, damage (R v Ireland and Burstow) Whose perception of force?
R v Beasley Held: apprehension does NOT conform to the take your victim as you find them line of cases with causation - it is an objective test 'Unlawful' force: This excludes acts where the doctrines of necessity, self-defence and consent operate (which make force lawful) 'Immediate' force has been interpreted widely (Smith v Superintendent of Woking) Mens Rea R v Venna: assault as a crime of intention or recklessness?
Intention uses the general R v Moloney definition per Lord Bridge - a direct aim, purpose or want Recklessness - R v Savage confirms that Cunningham recklessness is used (see Mens Rea doc)
Battery Fagan v MPC defines battery as the actual application of unlawful force to another person without their consent Actus Reus The unlawful application of force (R v Ireland and Burstow) Collins v Wilcock A police woman grabbed a woman's arm to stop her walking away during questioning - the woman then scratched her Held: the police woman had battered the woman as the merest touch might constitute an assault. The scratch was then self-defence. HOWEVER confirms that ordinary, everyday levels of contact are not usually a battery R v Thomas
? Ackner LJ: contact can be through clothing for an assault Faulkner v Talbot
? Lord Lane: no requirement of hostility or aggression alongside the application of force Can be a crime of omission (see Actus Reus doc - Fagan v MPC & R v Santana Bermudez) Mens Rea Intention or recklessness
ABH S.47 Offences Against the Persons Act 1861 Actus Reus Assault/Battery + causation + actual bodily harm Actual bodily harm: R v Miller
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