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Offences Against The Person Notes

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This is an extract of our 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.

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A ladder of offences, in ascending levels of seriousness

Common Assault and Common Battery
 Common law offences whose punishment is prescribed in s. 39 Criminal Justice Act 1988.
o S.47 Assault Occasioning Actual Bodily Harm (ABH)
 S. 47 Offences Against the Person Act 1861

S.20 Unlawfully and maliciously wound or inflict any grievous bodily harm (GBH)
 S. 20 OAPA 1861

S.18 Wounding with intent to do grievous bodily harm (GBH
with Intent)
 S. 18 OAPA 1861 - same fault as for murder.

 Defined by Lord Hope in Ireland and Burstow [1998] (conjoined appeals), following Fagan v MPC [1969]
o "an assault is any act by which a person intentionally or recklessly causes another to apprehend immediate and unlawful violence"
o "a battery is any act by which a person intentionally or recklessly inflicts unlawful personal violence upon another."
 Penalties for these are prescribed in s. 39 Criminal Justice Act

1988. 

Mens Rea Elements

Lord Hope: intentionally or recklessly

Supported in R v Venne [1975] - man during arrest kicked wildly, injuring policeman. Contended this was not intentional.
 Held that the MR may be intention or recklessness.
o Cunningham Recklessness applies.
o R v Richardson [1998] - dentist carried on practice after suspension of his licence. Patients stated they would not have consented to the treatment had they known she had been suspended. Held that the patients had consented to the treatment, there was no fraud as to the identity of dentist merely their right to practice dentistry.

Actus Reus of Assault

"Any act" this can include words alone and silence
 Tuberville v Savage (1669) - Defendant drew sword and said: if it were not for the judges being in town I
would run you through.
 Words may negative what may otherwise be an assault.
 R v Wilson [1955] - before a fight broke out D shouted
'get out the knives'

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