Criminal Law Lecture 1 Spring Term

Maryam Z
Note by Maryam Z, updated more than 1 year ago
Maryam Z
Created by Maryam Z over 5 years ago


Non-fatal offences against the person-the frameworks

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Criminal Law Non-fatal offences against the person-the frameworksThe common law offences Common assault: "an assault is an act by which a person intentionally or recklessly causes another to apprehend immediate and unlawful personal violence."i.e Defendant frighting the victim so the believe they are about to be attacked. Battery: "an act by which a person intentionally or recklessly inflicts personal violence upon another". Actus reus: an act by which the defendant causes the victim to apprehend (Lamb) immediate (Ireland; Burstow) and unlawful (Collins v Wilcock) personal violence. Lamb: Friends playing around, a friend dies laughing. There was no creation of fear, no assault, no unlawful act. Ireland; Burstow: Made silent phone calls among other things to their victims. Part of their defence was that they hadn't said, "I'm going to beat you" etc. So how could they have created the fear of immediate unlawful violence? Court said, the victims actually felt scared. They didn't know where the defendants were calling from i.e from across the street, doorstep etc. Therefore that defence was dismissed. They were subject to an assault/battery. Collins v Wilcock: Police officer restrained victim when they were not hoping to exercise any other power of detention (not planning to arrest) When the victim responded by force to cause the police to restrain them from arresting, he was charged with assaulting a police officer while they were exercising their execution of duty. But the police were not exercising their duty so the assault was unlawful. Mens rea: Doing so intentionally (refer to previous notes on intention) or recklessly (they must recognize the effect of their acts but carry on anyway) (Venna, Savage & Parmenter; and Spratt). Venna, Savage & Parmenter: Was being attained lawfully by officers but kept thrashing about and opposing the restraint. He recognized the risk and carried on anyway. Battery (infliction of personal violence against the victim) Actus reusan act by which the defendant inflicts personal violence upon another (Haystead v DPP) 2000Haystead v DPP: Infliction of personal violence does not have to be directed necessarily at the person intended. Man hits woman holding baby, the baby fell as a result. Woman harmed so was baby. The court held that he was just as guilty of harming her as he was harming the baby. He had tried to argue I didn't drop the baby, she did. Mens rea: doing so intentionally or recklessly (Venna etc)s39 Criminal Justice Act 1988Common assault and battery Are assault and battery properly defined as common law defences or are they statutory defences? Common idea that: Common assault and battery are common law offences affected by statutory defences. It appears that it isn't since it is not defined in a statute. So appears to be a common law offence. s47 Offences Against the Person Act (OAPA) 1861An assault occasioning actual bodily harm. Whoever is convicted on indictment of any assault occasioning actual bodily harm shall be liable...(to a max sentence of five years imprisonment) In this case assault is referring to both assault or battery. Actus reus: Assault in the Lynsey sense + the occasioning of actual bodily harm. Mens rea: as per common assault/battery: Savage; Parmenter. Mens rea is the same for common assault as battery. You have to intend or be reckless as to whether your victim apprehends the immediate unlawful force. There is no mens rea required for the occasion of actual bodily harm. Common assault/battery: fine of 5,000 pounds or 6 months prison.What is actual bodily harm?Any hurt or injury calculated to interfere with the health or comfort of the victim (Donocan, Brow etc) including psychiatric harm (Chan Fool; Ireland; Burstow) "which need not be permanent, but must be more than merely transient and trifling" (Donovan; Brown; T v DPP) T v DPP (2003): There was a gang fight. There was the initial scuffle, the victim tried to make a run for it but was caught by members of the group incl the D and was knocked unconscious briefly. A member of the group was charged under s47. It was more the trifling but less than transient. Court said if something is transient AND trifling nature of harm then it's not abh, but if you have only ONE of the criteria then you might have abh and especially if that element is the not trifling then you have abh. How is abh 'occasioneed'?R v Roberts (1971) 56 Cr App R 95 He laid his hands on the victim and made her believe she was going to be subject to assault (Sexual one). He had locked the car, had convo, forgot to lock again, they were driving, she jumped out, hit road, suffered serious bruises, which were capable of qualifying as abh. Interfered with her health or comfort. They were not immediately transient, they stuck around for a bit, and they weren't triflent. Robert's defence; I didn't cause the ABH, it was the road that caused or occasioned the ABH. I only touched her. His defence failed. Whether what the defendant did was reasonably foreseeable? The CoA were satisfied that threatening someone with sexual assault and touching her made her desire to escape reasonably foreseeable. Occasioning means causing.A defendant causes those consequence which are the natural result of what s/he said and did, in the sense that it was something that could reasonably have been foreseen as the consequence of what s/he was saying or doing (as interpreted in Williams; Davis (1922) 1 WLR 380 C/A). May be done directly or indirectly: DPP v K (a minor) (1990) 1 WLR 1067 R v Roberts is still good law. s20 OAPA 1861- wounding or inflicting gbhActus reus: wounding (JCC v Eisenhower) or inflicting (Ireland; Burstow - see also Dica) gbh (DPP v Smith 1961 H/L and Bollom (2003).Mens rea: created by the use of the word ''maliciously' which usually means 'intentionally or recklessly'. Here it means that "the defendant intended or that he actually foresaw that his act would cause harm". The word "harm" implied simply harm to the person as opposed to harm to property i.e. it was not concerned with the amount of harm caused (the Savage part of Savage; Parmenter). You don't have to show that the defendant intended to cause harm, just that they did.

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