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As there is a substantial injury in the form of a dislocated knee, Adrian immediately goes beyond the realms of assault, as force was applied, and battery - as there was an injury. A section 47

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Introduction

John Nickell Adrian and Brian Scenario: Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Adrian and Brian were in a nightclub, where Adrian took some drugs. Shortly afterwards, Adrian began to act in a strange manner, giggling and stumbling about. When Adrian clumsily spilt a drink over Chris, Brian decided it was time to get him home. As they left the nightclub, Chris and his friend, Don, followed them. Chris challenged Adrian to a fight and Adrian took off his jacket and then immediately lashed out at Chris before Chris was prepared. The blow sent him reeling backwards and he dislocated his knee in a very awkward fall. Discuss Adrian's criminal liability in connection to the injury to Chris. As there is a substantial injury in the form of a dislocated knee, Adrian immediately goes beyond the realms of assault, as force was applied, and battery - as there was an injury. A section 47 offence also does not apply, as for this there needs to be "actual bodily harm" such as bruises, grazing and scratches; "any hurt or injury calculated to interfere with the health or comfort of the victim" (Miller (1954)); which I believe Adrian goes beyond. ...read more.

Middle

As well as this, Parmenter also decided that although the Actus Reus required "serious harm", there is no requirement for the defendant to foresee serious harm, any type of harm or injury is enough. So even if Adrian didn't foresee Brian falling awkwardly and dislocating his ankle, although this may be considered to be reasonably foreseeable, Adrian must have foreseen some harm as he punched him hard enough for him to go "reeling backwards"! I think, defences aside, that it is almost certain that a jury would convict Adrian of a section 20 offence. The question then is, could Adrian be found guilty of the most serious non-fatal offence outlined in Section 18 of 1861's Offences Against the Person Act? The key differences between a S.18 offence and a S.20 offence is that committal of a S.18 offence can result in anything up to life imprisonment, whereas committal of a S.20 offence leads to a maximum of five years imprisonment. Reflected in the fact that a S.18 offence can only be tried on indictment in a Crown Court, whereas a S.20 offence is triable either-way. ...read more.

Conclusion

The defendant is to be judges on his beliefs, even if these are mistaken (Williams (1987)). The force must be reasonable however, and not be motivated by retaliation or revenge (Martin), or be excessive as found in the case of Clegg (1995) where the threat was no longer there. If the defence of self-defence fails, Adrian may consider the defence of Mistake, which must be about a fact that would either negate the Mens Rea or allow the defendant to rely on another defence. If Adrian made a mistake of fact by believing himself to be in immediate danger, even if this was unreasonable, by the rules of mistake, the jury have to decide whether they believe the force used was reasonable in the circumstances or not. If the mistake negates the Mens Rea for the offence then he will have the defence even if he was drunk. However, intoxication does not allow a defendant to make a "mistake" about the amount of force needed as found in O'Grady (1987). All these questions are to be decided by a jury on consideration of all the evidence. ...read more.

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