There are numerous approaches to evaluate Law and Sentences
on particular non-fatal offenses one way in doing so is assessing the criticisms
of them. The first criticism is the language of the laws being old (in the Act
itself) as well as confusing. For example, in GBH section 20 and 18 it uses a word
such as “Malicious” nowadays nobody uses words like this, this therefore
doesn’t seem to be modernised, this was meant to define to be: “Recklessly” but
gives the idea that it means committing something in a nasty/hateful manner, it
was meant to be for the Mens Rea, but Mens Res has the definition of “with
intent”. In addition to this, the term “assault” nowadays suggests physical
injuries to a victim after hitting 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 that Mens Rea in Section 47 doesn’t need any extra
Mens Rea, it doesn’t have need of the person committing the crime to expect a risk/injury,
like in the case R v Roberts where
the defendant offered to give the victim a lift and then wanted to have sex
with her then she said no so he started to drive off with her at a high speed
leading her to injure herself by doing what anybody else would do, jump out. The
defendant claimed that he was unaware of risks and didn’t mean for the victim
to suffer from ABH, even though he made her feel fear which was what lead her
to jump out of the car. The third criticism I’m going to talk about is the lack
of the seriousness needed in the actual harm area 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 type 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, the word battery makes us think that it is where
somebody gets beaten up badly, but really it is caused by touching someone purposely.
Relating to Battery another criticism is there is no legal definition to define
both “assault & battery” the only thing close to a definition is the
requirements to cause them. Regarding ABH & GBH the separation doesn’t seem
to be visible, it is the courts that actually make the decision of what causes
serious harm, but everyone has different views on crimes and offenders,
especially when both ABH and GBH include psychological pain because it’s hard
to decide what amount of the pain of it comes under what offence, with no
boundary as a guidance there will be no proper way in deciding. The final
criticism I will be talking about is using a “wound” to separate Section 18
from 20 being useless as there should only be one Section for GBH because of
the case Moriarty v Brookes where
the defendant hit a customer and used force to remove him from a pub. He was
guilty as he broke the layers of the skin, but compared to a needle prick, you
can easily see that the needle isn’t a serious as the punches, so I believe if
they had one Section they can easily charge somebody with GBH and giving them a
suitable sentence rather that deciding over a wound.

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