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Criminal Law - Actus Reus - Law Assignment Help

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Criminal law
The actus reus is the objective requirement necessary to constitute the offence. when dealing with a particular crime, not only the circumstances should be considered but also the type of crime that has been committed. According to Lord Diplock in Miller1, there are two different types of crimes. The conduct crime where the external element of the offence is the prohibited conduct itself. Secondly, the result crime which ads proof that the conduct caused a prohibited consequence. For this reason, the actus reus is commonly defined as an “act”, which professor John Austin added that must be voluntary, committed in legally relevant situations and (for result crimes) causing the unlawful result2.On the other hand, if someone can properly acknowledge the misbehavior of an act and commits it anyways, he will be held liable. The process of making this decision is a mental statement or cognition which became known as “mens rea”. Furthermore, Actual Bodily Harm (ABH) under section 47. This section states ‘whoever shall be convicted upon an indictment of any assault occasioning actual bodily harm shall be liable…to be imprisoned for any term not exceeding five years.’ This offence occurs when the defendant commits an assault or a battery which causes the victim to suffer from actual bodily harm.
Psychic Assault is defined as any act by which the defendant intentionally or recklessly causes the victim to apprehend immediate and unlawful force or violence. In R v Lamb [1967] D cause the V to believe he can and will carry out the threat of force. Tony kept bumping into other people on the dance floor especially Ben, tony did not do that intentionally he was terrible dancer and recklessness was bumping into other people but ben acted on his behaviour and pushed him and with guilty mind he shouted at tony “If that bouncer wasn’t over there, I’d thump you!” Tony replied sarcastically, “Oooh! I’m really scared!” This infuriated Ben who threw his pint glass towards Tony, which hit him and caused a small bump on his face. Ben with guilty mind performed guilty act pushed tony and then hit him with a pint of beer. It was direct intention of ben to hit tony as he was infuriated on his reply.
Intention is the direct aim or purpose what defendant wants to happen. According to (s8 criminal justice act 1967), “A court or jury, in determining whether a person has committed an offence:(b) shall decide whether he did intend or foresee that result by reference to all the evidence, drawing such inferences as appear proper in the circumstance.” Furthermore, in case DPP v Smith [1960] In this case, D caused the death of a policeman, who was hanging on to D’s car, by driving him into the traffic. The House of Lords decided in this case that a defendant could be presumed to intend the natural and probable consequences of her/his conduct. This case caused an outcry because their Lordships had applied an objective test to intention. As a consequence, Parliament passed (s.8 of the Criminal Justice Act 19670)3 in order to overrule this part of the decision in Smith. Section 8 established a subjective test of intention and foresight. Ben intentionally hit tony and performed mens rea with intention.
Psychiatric injury can be actual bodily harm (s47 offences against the person act 1861). Also according to Ireland [1998] AC147 in that case defendant caused victim psychological injury through a large number of silent telephone calls. ‘Assault’ here means either assault or battery. ABH is the consequence ; an offence under s47 is simply assault or battery which result in worse injury. It does not require defendant to foresee that worse injury ; Paramenter [1991] in this case defendant was guilty of ABH for roughly handling an infant. In the above scenario ben intentionally committed offences by hitting a pint of beer on tony  which caused bump on his face.
In conclusion, ben is liable for causing actus reus with battery and causing actual bodily harm to tony. According to (s39 criminal justice act 1988) and (s47 of offences against the person act 1861), ben assaulted v by hitting him on his face.
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