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Non-Fatal Offences


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Offences Against the Person Act 1861
The statute which gives us the more serious non-fatal offences against the person.
UPV
Unlawful personal violence.
s.18 OAPA
GBH with intent - wounding (breaking more than two layers of skin) and causing UPV. This is a SIC and therefore requires a mens rea of either direct or oblique intent.
Floating Mens Rea
All non-fatal offences except from GBH with intent have a mens rea of either intention or recklessness, and so even if D intends assault, they may be charged with GBH without intent if the actus reus is sufficient.
s.20 OAPA
GBH without intent - wounding / inflicting UPV.
DPP v Smith
D was trying to escape from the police in a car. He was signalled to stop, yet failed to do so. A PC jumped onto the car’s bonnet and D drove at high speed, swerving from side to side, until the officer was thrown off and killed. Principle case as it defines GBH as really serious harm (applicable to s.18 and s.20).
s.47 OAPA
ABH - UPV causing actual bodily harm.
s.39 CJA 1988
Battery, consisting of application of UPV; alternatively, assault, consisting of apprehension of UPV.
Savage and Parmenter
These cases were appealed together. Establishes there may be a floating mens rea for most non-fatal offences; the exact harm does not have to be foreseen, as long as D intended or was reckeless as to whether they may commit a non-fatal offence.
Constanza
D wished to form a relationship with V who did not reciprocate. D followed V sent her more than 800 letters, telephoned her on numerous occasions, only speaking sometimes, watched her house from his car and wrote on her door. V suffered from a clinical state of depression and anxiety. Held: words may constitute an assault, and V doesn't have to see their assailant - an assault may be performed over the telephone or in the dark.
Mohan
May be used for any specific intent crimes, as it gives us a definition of direct intent. Definition is as follows: "A decision to bring about, insofar as it lies within [D's] power, the commission of the offence which it is alleged [D] attempted to commit, no matter whether [D] desired that consequence of his act or not."
Chan-Fook
D questioned V regarding the theft of a ring belonging to D's fiancée. D then dragged V upstairs and locked him in. V, fearing D's return, jumped out of the window and injured himself upon landing. Held that ABH may include psychiatric harm, but does not include mere emotions, such as fear or panic. D was not guilty of ABH as V only feared D's return.
Ireland and Burstow
D, a naval petty officer, inflicted grievous bodily harm (s.20) to V after she broke off their relationship. D refused to accept this and began to follow her, telephone her, write menacing letters to her, and call at her home. V suffered severe clinical depression as a result. Held that 'inflict' and 'cause' are interchangeable - inflict does not necessarily mean physical harm.
Eisenhower
V was shot in the eye with an air rifle. Held that wounding is a break in two layers of skin (dermis and epidermis) - D was not guilty of wounding (either s.18 or s.20).