There and didn’t mean for the victim to suffer

There are many ways to evaluate Law and Sentences on specific
non-fatal offences, one way in doing so is looking at the criticisms of
non-fatal offences. The first criticism is the language of the laws being old
(in the Act itself). For example, in GBH section 20 and 18 it uses terms such
as “Malicious” in modern day society nobody uses words like this, this
therefore doesn’t seem to be modernised, this does define to be: “with intent”
but gives the impression it infers committing something in a nasty/hateful
manner. In addition to this, the term “assault” in modern day society implies physical
injuries to a victim after beating them. But, in terms of law it is just making
somebody feel fear, this is misleading so when a person in court claims they
have been assaulted they really mean they have been a victim of either: GBH,
ABH or a Battery depending on the seriousness of the injuries. Another criticism
I am going to talk about is the fact that Mens Rea in Section 47 doesn’t need
any extra Mens Rea, it doesn’t have the requirement of the defendant to foresee
a risk/injury, like in the case R v Roberts
where the defendant offered to give the victim a lift and then demanded her
to have sex with him as she said no he drove off with her at a high speed
leading her to injure herself by jumping out. The defendant claimed that he was
unaware of risks and didn’t mean for the victim to suffer from ABH, even though
he put her in a fearful state of mind leading to her jumping out of his car. The
third criticism I’m going to talk about is the lack of the seriousness needed
in the actual harm sector in Section 20 GBH, the only thing the prosecution
need to show is that the defendant had intention to cause some harm, which
could be the smallest form of harm. Like in the case R v Mowatt where the defendant beat the victim unconscious due to
the victim confronting the defendant about the defendant’s partner who helped
steal form the victim. It was decided that the Intention/recklessness to cause
a wound and/or GBH doesn’t need proving. Another criticism I’m going to talk about
is the actual offence known as a “Battery” being misleading.

 

 

 

 

Sentencing

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GBH Section 18 is the offence of inflicting either a wound
or GBH. The Actus Reus in Section 18 is to wound/ cause GBH to the victim. The
Mens Rea is the direct intention to cause GBH and not recklessness. The maximum
sentence for GBH Section 18 is 25 years as it’s the more serious out of Section
20 and 18. In addition to this, GBH Section 20 is the offence of inflicting a wound
or GBH to the victim. The Mens Rea for this is the intention/ recklessness to
cause some harm to the victim. The maximum sentence for GBH Section 20 is 5
years in prison as it’s the least serious of the two. Moreover Section 47 ABH,
can be caused by either an assault or battery. The Mens Rea for this is
intention or recklessness to commit the assault or battery or both. In ABH Section
47 touching someone else’s clothes or spitting on them can amount to a battery.
Even though they do not physically injure the victim, but they could possibly
psychologically injure them, this is unfair as they will be charged under ABH Section
47 and will have the same sentence as someone who has amounted GBH. Also, an
assault can just be committed by saying something to make the victim feel
immediate fear. An example of GBH Section 20 is breaking someone’s bone. ABH Section
47 is caused by the slight direct touch. By knowing this it is clear that the
sentencing for these non-fatal offences have not been thought through due to
the difference is the elements of committing the crimes. There are some similarities
in the crimes such as intention, but nothing major that fit GBH Section 20 and ABH
Section 47 into the same sentencing. Therefore, I believe that the sentencing
for these opposite crimes should be reconsidered. However, the maximum sentence
for GBH Section 18 is 25 years. This is a very big gap between the non-fatal
offences even though GBH Section 20 and Section 18 are very similar in terms of
the wounding, the problem seems to be if the sentence length should be
dependent on the intention of causing GBH such as Recklessness or Direct
intention? I believe Section 18 and Section 20 should both have the same
sentence such as 10-15 years in prison where the judge is able to decide on the
length of the sentence depending on how severe the victim’s injuries are.

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