Actual Bodily Harm

penman sedgwick solicitors watford cassiobury park water new

Different types of Offence

Definition of an Assault
When a person intentionally or recklessly causes another to apprehend immediate unlawful violence.

Definition of a Battery
When a person intentionally or recklessly applies unlawful force to the `victim`

Each allegation is on different facts in relation to this section, and for advice on Actual Bodily Harm and the law, contact Penman Sedgwick.

The Definition of Actual Bodily Harm (ABH)

Offences against the Person Act 1861, section 47

Whosoever shall be convicted upon an indictment of any assault occasioning actual bodily harm shall be liable to imprisonment for not more than five years’.

This offence is triable either way, being in the Magistrates Court, or the Crown Court.

The Magistrates, on hearing the alleged facts, decide whether or not, to accept jurisdiction for trial in the Magistrates Court. If the facts of the matter are considered so serious, depending on all the circumstances of the allegation, the Magistrates would then decline jurisdiction, and the matter be sent to the crown Court for trial.

What Are The Elements Of The Offence ?

It is necessary for there to be an assault or a battery. The result must be some bodily harm, and to which was reasonable to have been foreseen as a consequence of the assault or battery.

If you need any advice on an Actual Bodily Harm matter please contact us, and we will respond as soon as possible, or call us on 01923 225212.

Case Example 1

R .v. R
St. Albans Magistrate Court

The Defendant was charged with assaulting a neighbour thereby occasioning actual bodily harm, contrary to Section 47 of The Offences against The Person act 1861.

At Plea, the Defendant entered a Plea of Not Guilty and elected for trial before a Jury at the Crown Court

At the Committal Hearing, both the Crown and Defencemade representations to the Court, and as a result the Court directed the Defence to serve legal submissions by the next given date.

Penman Sedgwick submitted a comprehensive Skeleton Legal Argument, serving the same upon the Magistrates Court and the Crown.

As a result, the Crown withdrew the charge; we then made an application for Defence Costs to be assessed, which was granted.

Case Example 2

R .v. K
St. Albans Crown Court

The Defendant was charged with assaulting a male thereby occasioning him actual bodily harm contrary to Section 47 of The Offences Against The Person Act 1861.

The Facts

It was alleged that the defendant pushed the complainant in the chest then hit him in the face with what was believed to be a glass, so causing a number of injuries. The incident took place in the Area Nightclub in Watford. The Defendant pleaded Not Guilty.

The Law

Section 47 Offences Against The Person Act 1861 states that whosoever shall be convicted on indictment of any assault occasioning actual bodily harm shall be liable to imprisonment for not more than 5 years. This is a Class 3 offence, triable either way.

The Jury

On the conclusion of a most detailed trial of almost one week, involving substantial legal argument, the Jury returned a verdict after a time period of 45 minutes being a unanimous not guilty.

Mr Kane was released by the Learned Judge, legal costs applied for the privately paid defence and were granted to be paid from the Common Fund, such costs to be taxed.

Case Example 3

R .v. B
St. Albans Crown Court

Defended a client who exercised self defence against an attacker and was charged under s.47 Offences Against the Person Act 1861, causing actual bodily harm. Not Guilty.
(In The Matter Of Terry Willis (Defendant) And In The Matter Of The Proceeds Of Crime Act 2002). Restraint order prohibiting disposal of assets. Reported in the Watford Observer.

Restraint Order Prohibiting Disposal Of Assets. Instructed to Appeal to the Crown Court to challenge a Restraint Order against Mr Willis who had not been charged for a period of some six months, on the basis that the Restraint Order so issued on Application by the Hertfordshire Constabulary was unlawful and in contravention of the Human Rights Act, and contrary to a leading legal authority of the Court of Appeal.

The Honourable Judge on consideration of legal argument and submissions so made agreed and discharged the Restraint Order. Legal costs were awarded.

Case Example 4

City of Westminster Magistrates Court

Instructed to defend three soldiers who attacked a man in a London street, by punching and kicking, and had his head stamped on in an unprovoked attack.

The Court, as part of the mitigation, was told by Penman Sedgwick “the men are an important part of a unit going to Iraq in May. It is better for experienced professional soldiers to be in Iraq at this country`s time of need. Young soldiers lives depend on their professional experience”.

We called as a character witness the commander, who appeared in full uniform.

As a result the District Judge, accepted the mitigation put forward, and fined the defendants £1,000.00 each and were ordered to pay £1,000.00 compensation to the victim, were banned from entering a zone within the M25 for 6 months, banned from all licensed premises for 6 months and ordered to remain in their Hampshire barracks on a curfew from 6pm to 6am for 3 months.

The soldiers escaped a lengthy custodial sentence.