Practise exam questions
Alan believed that Bhu, a fellow student, had stolen his mobile phone. Alan saw Bhu at college, went up to her and said, “We sort out thieves like you.” As Bhu hurried away in a panic, Alan’s friend, Carol, sprayed Bhu with red paint. A small amount of paint went into Bhu’s eyes. She was taken to hospital where her eyes were treated to remove the paint. As she went home, and just before her sight was fully recovered, she tripped up a kerb and fractured her skull.
Refer to the scenario when answering the remaining questions in this section. 1. Discuss Alan’s criminal liability for his statement to Bhu, “We sort out thieves like you.” (7 marks)
I think that Alan would be trialled for assault under s. 47 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861. This crime cannot be battery as no force has been used, neither can it be GBH or ABH as no wounding or injury has been caused. Assault offences can be done by: silence alone- as shown in the case of R v Ireland; as written words- shown in the case of R v Constanca; Psychological- as represented in Smith v Chief superintendent of Working Police Station; and even by raising your fist at someone in a threatening way- as shown in Stevens v Myers. The actus reus of assault is any act that causes the victim to apprehend an immediate infliction of unlawful violence. There is no need for physical contact to occur between the victim and the defendant. By saying ‘we sort out thieves like you’ Alan has committed the actus reus of assault, as the defendant went up to the victim and threatened him while standing in front of him. This could have finished with immediate violence towards the victim. Also, Bhu ‘hurried away in panic’ which tells us that he took the threats seriously. The mens rea of the act is the intention or recklessness as to either putting the victim in fear of unlawful force or applying unlawful force such as in the case of Savage (1991). Alan’s act was intentional as shown by...
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