• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Offences Against the Person Act 1861

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

A was engaged in rifle practice on a local firing range. A knew that B was 400 yards away in a trench below the target keeping score. A discharged six rounds at the target and B emerged from the protection of the trench. A decided to frighten him and fired a round over B's head. The round hit a concrete post and ricocheted and hit B who was seriously injured. Advise A of his criminal liability. As soon as he fired the round over B's head, A might have committed either a battery or an assault contrary to s 39 of the Criminal Justice Act. An assault and a battery is respectively intentionally or recklessly causing one to apprehend immediate personal violence and intentionally or recklessly applying personal violence. For battery, since the bullet hit B, there is obviously an application of force. Though A had not intended that, he commits the offence as long as he was reckless as to whether the bullet would hit B. ...read more.

Middle

In any case, it is a question of fact for the jury to decide. For B's serious injury, A could be liable for an offence contrary to s18 of the OAPA 1861, which is malicious wounding or causing of grievous bodily harm with intent. Since B sustained serious injury, the element of 'grievous bodily harm' which merely denotes 'serious bodily harm' (R v Saunders), is readily satisfied. The situation is similar for 'causing': though the round hit B indirectly because it ricocheted, A had still caused the injury by virtue of the event being a natural consequence of the firing of the round (R v Hallet). But A might have a defence on the issue of mens rea. s18 requires proof of an intent to cause grievous bodily harm, and recklessness does not suffice (Belfon). Hence A has to be proven to have been 'virtually certain' that B would sustain GBH or be wounded (Nedrick). ...read more.

Conclusion

Alternatively then, A could be charged with s 47 OAPA assault occasioning actual bodily harm. It was said in R v Roberts, as long as an assault and actual bodily harm is established and that causation is proven between the two, no further mens rea is required. The element of ABH would easily be met, since the injury falls within the definition of 'any interference with comfort' (Chan - Fook). Hence success of a conviction on s47 will depend on whether (as discussed above) there is evidence on A's foresight of application of force, and evidence of B's apprehension of immediate violence and the jury's evaluation. If R v Ireland is extended, A would be guilty of a s18 offence. If the jury is satisfied that B apprehended another episode of immediate violence right after he got hit, A would be guilty of a s47 offence as well. Otherwise, A would most probably be absolved from liability. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Criminal Law section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Criminal Law essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Is the current law on the non-fatal offences against the person satisfactory?

    4 star(s)

    the judiciary to make such radical decisions about the extent of the legislation, further illustrating the importance of reform and modernisation of the law on the non-fatal offences. However, the law on "serious" injury may become more precise; neither of the Bills defined the meaning of "serious", and the Home

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Murder - Notes and Evaluation.

    4 star(s)

    In Cunningham (1981), Lord Davies stated that the thought that the Mens Rea for murder should be limited to an intention to kill. However, it could also be argued that the definition of murder is too narrow, as the English definition of murder excludes recklessness as to death (e.g.

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Voluntary Manslaghter - Notes and Evaluation.

    3 star(s)

    Diminished Responsibility covers a wide range of mental conditions, including depressive illnesses, paranoia, epilepsy, severe trauma, PMT and battered women's syndrome. The courts will not recognize abnormality of the mind if it is simply jealousy.

  2. Non-Fatal Offences - Notes and Evaluation.

    These are that: the Act uses complicated old fashioned language, the structure of the act is complex and that non-lawyers find the Act completely unintelligible. As the Act was written in 1861 much of the language is obscure and old fashioned, for example, the words 'maliciously' and 'grievous'.

  1. There are two ways of committing common assault which are assault and battery. Both ...

    Battery can be slightest touch as shown by the case of Collins v Wilcock (1984) where two police officers saw two women apparently soliciting for the purpose of prostitution. They asked the defendant to get into the police car for questioning but she refused and walked away.

  2. Property Offences, Corporate Manslaughter and Police Powers of Search and Entry.

    If they want, the police can do a lot more search in private, for example, a police van. The search has to be made by a police officer which is the same sex. Powers to search a person when arrested If a person is arrested, the police can search them

  1. Looking at the offences of Assault, Battery, Actual bodily harm and Grievous really serious ...

    find, but some terror of some immediate violence" If the victim doesn't fear immediate unlawful force, then it can't amount to an assault. It was argued in Venna (1975) that common assault should be a specific intent crime. The mens rea of assault is either intention or subjective recklessness; this will suffice for the mens rea of assault.

  2. How Satisfactory Is The Current Law On The Deception Offences?

    This would suggest that if the victim admits not caring whether the defendant's representation was true or false, an acquittal must follow. But, in Charles, an underlying link was implied even though the victim admitted not considering the question of whether the bank would or would not honour the cheque.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work