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Non Fatal Offences Against The Person Notes

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A more recent version of these Non Fatal Offences Against The Person notes – written by Cambridge/Bpp/College Of Law students – is available here.

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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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