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Offences against the person

The Offences against the person Act defines a number of different types of assault. The offences vary in how they are dealt with by the legal system depending on how serious the assault is.

If you are have been arrested or charged with any type of violent offence, contact me as soon as possible. Advice at a Police Station is free of charge and will be paid for by Legal Aid. This does not depend on your financial circumstances for this type of case.

In order of severity of the penalty which can be imposed, the offences are. (Least severe penalty first.)

  1. Common Assault
  2. Actual Bodily Harm (ABH)
  3. Grievous Bodily Harm (GBH) – Wounding (without intent)
  4. Grievous Bodily Harm (GBH) – Wounding (with intent)

You have a right to legal representation. If you are arrested or charged with any of the above offences please contact me as soon as possible.

Below is a brief outline of each type of offence.

Grievous bodily harm (GBH)

There are two separate offences of GBH, they are GBH with intent (to cause grievous bodily harm) and GBH without intent.

Grievous Bodily Harm is classed as ‘really serious bodily harm’.

The critical distinction when sentencing is the intent to cause grievous bodily harm or not.

If the attacker only intended to cause ‘some harm or pain’ and not ‘grievous bodily harm’ then this is a less serious offence carrying a maximum sentence of 5 years.

If there was intent to cause grievous bodily harm then the offence can carry a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

Actual Bodily Harm ( ABH )

Actual bodily harm is an offence where harm has been caused, but the only intention of the attacker was to want to assault the victim. The distinction here is the lack of intent to cause injury. The actual harm caused will be more minor such as bruises.

The prosecution only has to prove that an assault was in fact carried out, in addition to showing that bodily harm was caused; they do not have to show that actual bodily harm was intended.

ABH carries a maximum sentence of 5 years imprisonment.

Common Assault

Common Assault is when someone either applies unlawful force on another person or makes them afraid that immediate force will be used against them.

With Common Assault there need to not be any injury caused. If an injury was caused then the offence would often be elevated to a charge of Actual Bodily Harm (ABH).

Common assaults are usually dealt with by a fine or a community penalty but the maximum sentence is 6 months imprisonment.

Please contact me for a consultation.

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