R v David Smith. - ABH, criminal law
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R v David Smith a) The Prosecutors Submission: The Defendant is charged with two cases of assault occasioning Actual Bodily Harm, according to Section 47 of the Offences against the Person Act 1861, arising out of an incident that occurred in Theobald Road, Smallville on the 11th of August 2003. This is an aggravated assault, and the Prosecution must prove an unlawful assault which caused the victim to sustain an injury that is more than merely 'trifling' or 'superficial,' but as long as the injury is 'not so trivial as to be insignificant,' it shall suffice. The defendant has pleaded guilty to both of the charges. In a brief summary of the facts, David Smith was alone in his car on the early morning of the 11th of August 2003. Whilst driving along Lansdowne Road, he turned into Beda Road and upon seeing a marked police traffic patrol vehicle, stuck his fingers out of the window and made an obscene gesture at the Police officer operating the marked vehicle. David Smith then turned into Brunswick Street, driving in the middle of the road, causing a taxi to take evasive action. Mr Smith proceeded to make a number of left and right turns whilst travelling at speeds of up to sixty miles per hour in a thirty miles per hour residential area. Mr Smith got out of his vehicle at the end of Lansdowne Road and ran away from the police car in a Westerly direction.
His previous Actual Bodily Harm Offence highlighted his violent side when he punched a neighbour in the face. In the eyes of the prosecution, this shows that as a repeat offender he must move up the sentencing hierarchy. . b) Mitigating Circumstances: I shall begin as before by looking at the circumstances, then the character and situation of the Defendant. Mr. Smith pleaded guilty to all offences levelled at him, but the punishment dealt seems to outweigh the actions. The struggle with the officers was unsavoury but by no means a pre-meditated attack on another person. As said in the interview, Mr. Smith was purely defending himself as he was pushed to the ground. Mr. Smith was not trying to injure the police officers, but merely escape to carry on the chase. Dr. Hood inspected the police officers an hour later and whilst recognising breaks in the skin, said the injuries were of a superficial nature and of mild force. No further treatment was necessary and this is reinforced by the fact that it took ten minutes to clear both Officers. Mr. Smith deserves an amount of credit for pleading guilty to the attacks and has said that even though he can't recall specifically what happened, he is sorry for the attack on them. He accepts what he did was wrong and knows he should not have raced with the police or initiate a chase on foot. He admits to losing control of himself and is prepared to see someone in order to gain some responsibility.
was also given six months in prison for punching and butting an officer. One case which does support Mr. Smith is that of R v Aguilar (1985) where part of a six month sentence was suspended due to the defendant having a job and excellent background, with employers willing to take him back. This will aid Mr. Smith due to the fact he has just found a job after a long period out of work, and although not too similar to R v Aguilar (1985), the employment aspect of suspending a sentence may aid Mr. Smith. The cases above offer guidelines in terms of how Mr. Smith should be dealt with, and the last thing left to consider is his previous sentences and character. Although Mr. Smith has found a job and seems to recognise his problems with responsibility, the punishments of his previous crimes have never really deterred him from re-offending in one way or another, be it the same crime or a new one. His previous conviction for assault occasioning Actual Bodily Harm shows a violent streak and no end of compensations and fines to be paid out have resulted in a halt of such activities. It is obvious that the cases above have all imposed a custodial sentence in light of a section 47 assault on a police officer and Mr. Smith shall be no different. In respect of precedent and with the consideration of all aggravating, mitigating and case law factors, and the totality principle of Mr. Smith having two charges of assault occasioning Actual Bodily Harm, I believe it suitable that Mr. Smith receive a custodial sentence of 6-12 months Word Count: 1,986
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