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Non Fatal Offences Against The Person Notes

GDL Law Notes > GDL Criminal Law Notes

This is an extract of our Non Fatal Offences Against The Person document, which we sell as part of our GDL Criminal Law Notes collection written by the top tier of Cambridge/Bpp/College Of Law students.

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:

Revision: Criminal

[NON-FATAL OFFENCES AGAINST THE PERSON]
Assault and Battery

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Penalty for Assault/Battery: PS5,000/6 months in prison - both in S39 CJA 1988

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Common law or statutory offences?
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Criminal Justice Act 1988 s39 - but only sets the penalty - doesn't explain AR or MR

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DPP v Little: judges here think that they are statutory offences

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But - still need to give common law explanations - so easier to think of it as a common law offence

Assault

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Committed when the accused 'intentionally or recklessly causes another person to apprehend immediate and unlawful personal violence'

Actus Reus

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An assault is committed when the accused 'intentionally, or recklessly, causes another person to apprehend immediate and unlawful personal violence;' Fagan v MPC: confirmed by Hl in R v Ireland, Burstow

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There must be apprehension of personal violence o

The D must do something to make the V apprehend (ie anticipate, believe) he will suffer immediate and unlawful personal violence- no need for D to have actually applied force

a) The defendant must cause the victim to believe he can and will carry out the threat of force

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R v Lamb o

Revolver had 2 bullets in it- believing that it was safe - the D pointed it at his friend and pulled the trigger - his friend was shot dead

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No assault because the victim did not fear violence

b) if the victim is caused to apprehend such a threat, it is irrelevant that the defendant does not in fact have the means to carry out the threat 1

Revision: Criminal

[NON-FATAL OFFENCES AGAINST THE PERSON]Logdon v DPP: D found to have committed assault against V by showing her a pistol in a drawer saying that it was loaded and claiming he would hold her hostage - only the D knew that the gun was a replica and unloaded - but his actions/words caused the victim to believe otherwiseWhat if the victim is unusually sensitive?

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Doesn't matter - thin skull rule

Can the threat to use force be of any nature/form?
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Earlier dicta - R v Mead & Belt: 'no words or singing could ever constitute an assault' per Holroyd J

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But opinion has changed - R v Wilson: the words 'get out the knives' would on their own be sufficient to constitute an assault'

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R v Ireland/Burstow: Accused had made several silent phone callsLord Steyn said the proposition that words won't suffice is 'unrealistic and indefensible' : held here that silence conveyed a message to the victim as was as such capable of forming the basis of assault - indirectly confirms that words spoken may amount to an assaulto

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A thing said is a thing done - so words alone can amount to assault

Words spoken can also negate an assault: Tuberville v Savage

The threat of violence must be unlawful: occasionally it will be considered lawful (e.g. selfdefence/consent)

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The violence apprehended must be immediate and personal o

Focus on what the V actually apprehended

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Smith v Chief Superintendent Woking Police Station: Smith entered grounds of large house - stared through window of the bedsit where the victim lived - she thought he was going to attack her: D argued that threat wasn't immediate as he could not have got through the window etc. 2

Revision: Criminal

[NON-FATAL OFFENCES AGAINST THE PERSON]o

but court said it was assault - V cannot be expected to be rational in that situation

R v Constanza: stalker pursued victim for 18 months - followed her home from work on numerous occasions, made silent phone calls, sent and delivered 800 letters to her home; charge of assault arose from 2 particular letters sent in June 1995 - CA said that the key thing is that there must be a threat of violence not excluding in the immediate future - hand-delivered, so he must be close - violence could happen at any time

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Ireland/BurstowIreland: heavy breathing down the phone - question of immediacy Lord Steyn - 'fear may dominate her emotions ... she may fear the possibility of immediate personal violence' - victim not necessarily thinking logically so fears there could be immediate personal violence

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Almost re-writes the test - rather than apprehension of immediate personal violence - could be immediate apprehension of personal violence

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Change hasn't actually happened - but seems courts will take liberal view

Mens Rea

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Fagan - 'an assault is any act which intentionally or possibly recklessly - causes another person to apprehend immediate and unlawful personal violence'

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R v Venna: recklessness could be enough for the MR

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R v Savage;Parmenter: confirmed the view that Cunningham recklessness must be established

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Direct Intention: See Chapter 3 - Maloney: Lord Bridge - ordinary meaning - "desire/motive"

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Cunningham recklessness: subjective: D must actually know of the existence of the risk and have deliberately taken it anyway

Battery

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Fagan v MPC- 'the actual ... use of unlawful force to another person without his consent'

Actus Reus Ireland/Burstow: Lord Steyn - 'the unlawful application of force by the defendant upon the victim'

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"Force" 3

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