Non Fatal Offences - Battery

Report
Non Fatal Offences Against the Person
Non Fatal - Battery
Non Fatal Offences Against the Person
Non Fatal Offences - Battery
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Non Fatal Offences Against the Person
Non Fatal - Battery
Objectives
• Describe using authority the actus reus of
battery
• Describe using authority the mens rea of battery
• Apply the actus reus and mens rea of battery to
problem questions
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Non Fatal Offences Against the Person
Non Fatal - Battery
Battery
• Battery is an act by which a person intentionally
or recklessly inflicts unlawful personal violence
on another
• (Law Commission (1993) Legislating the
Criminal Code).
• Confirmed in R v Ireland (1997) and R v Burstow
(1997)
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Non Fatal Offences Against the Person
Non Fatal - Battery
Actus Reus
• The infliction of unlawful personal violence
– But also consider:
• Direct or indirect
• Non-consensual
• Physical contact
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Non Fatal Offences Against the Person
Non Fatal - Battery
Direct/Indirect
• Can be
– Direct unlawful physical contact (one person touching
another as in Collins v. Wilcock)
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Non Fatal Offences Against the Person
Non Fatal - Battery
Collins v Wilcock (1984)
Case Law
Assault - definition of - apprehension of immediate force - mens rea is recklessness
or intention - everyday jostling is not assault
D refused to speak to a police officer. The officer took hold of D's arm to restrain her. D scratched
the officer's arm.
Principle – Goff LJ: 'An assault is an act which causes another person to apprehend the
infliction of immediate, unlawful, force on his person; a battery is the actual infliction of unlawful
force on another person ... any touching of another person, however slight, may amount to
battery.' "Consent is a defence to battery; and most of the physical contacts of ordinary life are
not actionable because they are impliedly consented to by all who move in society and so expose
themselves to the risk of bodily contact… it is more common nowadays to treat…everyday
jostling…as falling within a general exception embracing all physical contact which is generally
acceptable in the ordinary conduct of daily life.”
Not Guilty (unlawful contact)
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Non Fatal Offences Against the Person
Non Fatal - Battery
Direct/Indirect
• Can be
– Direct unlawful physical contact (one person touching
another as in Collins v. Wilcock)
– Indirect unlawful physical contact (where one person
touches another and contact is made with a third
person as in Haystead [2003])
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Non Fatal Offences Against the Person
Non Fatal - Battery
Haystead v DPP (2000)
Case Law
Actus reus – battery – indirect force
D assaulted a child by punching the child's mother causing the child to fall and hit his head. He
argued that battery required the direct application of force which involved direct physical contact
with the victim either with the body or with a medium such as a weapon.
Principle – Battery did not require the direct infliction of violence and that H's act had been
comparable to using a weapon to cause the child to fall. Although D had punched the
complainant and not the child that she had been holding, the punches had caused the child to be
dropped and therefore the magistrates had been entitled to find D guilty of assaulting the child
by beating
Guilty
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Non Fatal Offences Against the Person
Non Fatal - Battery
Indirect
•
•
•
•
So batteries can be inflicted indirectly
First example of this Martin (1881)
Backed up in DPP v K (1990)
And confirmed again in Haystead (2000)
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Non Fatal Offences Against the Person
Non Fatal - Battery
R v Martin (1881)
Case Law
Actus Reus of battery = inflicting unlawful personal violence - intentionally or
recklessly – indirect force
D positioned an iron bar in a theatre across an exit, as a joke, turned out the lights on a staircase
and yelled 'Fire!'. As a result, several people were injured.
Principle – Lord Coleridge CJ: 'The prisoner must be taken to have intended the natural
consequences of that which he did.’ An assault as such was not essential to the offence; some
unlawful act and the foresight of harm would be enough. "Inflict" meant no more than "cause"
and did not require a face-to-face assault.
Guilty
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Non Fatal Offences Against the Person
Non Fatal - Battery
DPP v K (1990)
Case Law
ABH - harm caused indirectly – indirect force
D placed acid in a hot air drier to hide it from his teachers. V then used the drier and the acid
caused burns on his face.
Principle – Parker LJ: D had ‘just as truly assaulted the next user of the machine [V] as if [D]
had himself switched the machine on’.
If the charge was simply battery, it is not necessary to prove harm.
Guilty of ABH
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Non Fatal Offences Against the Person
Non Fatal - Battery
Omissions
• Generally has to be an act not an omission – this
is why the Court ruled that the circumstances in
Fagan were a continuing act
• Battery can be committed by an omission but
only if a duty to act can be found
• See Santana Bermudez (2004)
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Non Fatal Offences Against the Person
Non Fatal - Battery
Consensual
• Battery requires non-consensual touching
• Consent can be express (victim agrees) or
• Implied (from the inevitable contact Collins v
Wilcock)
• Consent is a main consideration in the
lawful/unlawful distinction
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Non Fatal Offences Against the Person
Non Fatal - Battery
Physical Contact
• Must be some physical contact
• Merest contact will suffice i.e. touching a
persons clothes (Thomas)
• The touching should be hostile – everyday
contact allowable (Wilson & Pringle, Brown and
others)
• Everyday contact must not exceed boundaries of
normality
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Non Fatal Offences Against the Person
Non Fatal - Battery
R v Thomas (1985)
Case Law
Assault – must be indecent - assault is - merest touch
D, a school caretaker assaulted a 12-year-old after taking hold of the hem of her skirt.
Principle – the act was not inherently indecent and there was no evidence of circumstances
making it so. But Ackner LJ said obiter that there can be no dispute that if you touch a person’s
clothes while he is wearing them, that is equivalent to touching him.
Not Guilty
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Non Fatal Offences Against the Person
Non Fatal - Battery
Collins v Wilcock (again) (1984)
Case Law
Assault – everyday contact
Principle – Lord Goff – Most of the physical contacts of ordinary life re not actionable because
they are impliedly consented to by all who move in society and so expose themselves to the risk of
bodily contact. So nobody can complain of the jostling which is inevitable from his presence in, for
example, a supermarket, an underground station or a busy street, nor can a person who attends a
party complain if his hand is seized in friendship, or even his back is [within reason] slapped.
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Non Fatal Offences Against the Person
Non Fatal - Battery
Wilson v Pringle (1986)
Case Law
Assault - actus reus of battery
D a schoolboy, in fun seized the bag over C's shoulder, causing him injury, and C sued for the tort
of assault.
Principle – C must establish an intentional and hostile touching of one person by another,
though not necessarily an intent to injure. A claimant who cannot prove hostility on the
defendant's part is likely to fail, because in a crowded world people must be considered to take
upon themselves some risk of injury from the lawful acts of others.
C lost
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Non Fatal Offences Against the Person
Non Fatal - Battery
Joint Charging Standards
Battery
Actual Bodily Harm
Scratches/grazes
Temporary loss of sensory
functions
Minor bruising
Extensive or multiple bruising
Superficial cuts
Minor cuts requiring stitching
Black eyes
Minor Fractures
Agreed by Police and CPS and were produced in order to clarify the offences that would
normally be charged following different levels of injury.
WARNING – Do not rely on these for your offence recognition – to do so neglects key
elements of mens rea
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Non Fatal Offences Against the Person
Non Fatal - Battery
Mens rea
• Straightforward:
• Intention to make direct/indirect non consensual physical
contact with another Venna [1976]
or
• Subjective recklessness thereto (the defendant must
foresee a risk that the victim will apprehend immediate
unlawful violence)
• Cunningham subjective recklessness – what the
defendant actually foresaw rather than what he ought to
have foreseen
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Non Fatal Offences Against the Person
Non Fatal - Battery
R v Venna (1976)
Case Law
Assault - mens rea is recklessness or intention
D struggled with the police officers who were arresting him. D fell to the ground and lashed out
wildly with his legs, fracturing a bone in the hand of an officer.
Principle – "The offence of battery is satisfied by proof that the defendant intentionally or
recklessly applied force to the person of another.”
Guilty of ABH
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Non Fatal Offences Against the Person
Non Fatal - Battery
Objectives
• Describe using authority the actus reus of
battery
• Describe using authority the mens rea of battery
• Apply the actus reus and mens rea of battery to
problem questions
© The Law Bank
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Non Fatal Offences Against the Person
Non Fatal - Battery
Plenary
• Abi has been sponsored for charity to hug as
many people as she can in 60 minutes. She
sees Andrew in the street and shouts ‘I am going
to give you a great big hug!’ Andrew does not
want to be hugged by a stranger and replies ‘No
thanks, not today.’ Abi ignores this and hugs him
anyway.
• Explain you answer using case law
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Non Fatal Offences Against the Person
Non Fatal - Battery
Plenary
• Rachel has recently split up from her violent
boyfriend Sam. She is sitting in a bus in a traffic
jam when she receives a text from him saying
‘You are going to die. Terrified she looks out of
the window and sees him sitting in a café on the
other side of the road.
• Explain you answer using case law
© The Law Bank
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