Source: All England Reporter
Publisher Citation: [2003] All ER (D) 168 (Nov)
Court: Divisional Court
Judge:

Maurice Kay and Mackay JJ

Representation Rachel Lawrence (instructed by the Crown Prosecution Service) for the Director of Public Prosecutions.
  The defendant did not appear and was not represented.
Judgment Dates: 13 November 2003

Catchwords

Criminal law - Assault occasioning actual bodily harm - Actus reus - Omission to act - Effect.

The Case

Where someone, by act or word or a combination of the two, created a danger and thereby exposed another to a reasonably foreseeable risk of injury which materialised, there was an evidential basis for the actus reus of an assault occasioning actual bodily harm. However, it remained necessary for the prosecution to prove an intention to assault or appropriate recklessness. In the instant case, the Crown court had been in error in holding that there was no evidential basis for the actus reus of assault occasioning actual bodily harm where a defendant had given a police officer a dishonest assurance about the contents of his pockets, thereby exposed her to a reasonably foreseeable risk of injury caused by the presence of a hypodermic needle.

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