There are numerous approaches to evaluate Law and Sentenceson particular non-fatal offenses one way in doing so is assessing the criticismsof them. The first criticism is the language of the laws being old (in the Actitself) as well as confusing. For example, in GBH section 20 and 18 it uses a wordsuch as “Malicious” nowadays nobody uses words like this, this thereforedoesn’t seem to be modernised, this was meant to define to be: “Recklessly” butgives the idea that it means committing something in a nasty/hateful manner, itwas meant to be for the Mens Rea, but Mens Res has the definition of “withintent”. In addition to this, the term “assault” nowadays suggests physicalinjuries to a victim after hitting them. But, in terms of law it is just makingsomebody feel fear, this is misleading so when a person in court claims theyhave 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 criticismI am going to talk about is that Mens Rea in Section 47 doesn’t need any extraMens Rea, it doesn’t have need of the person committing the crime to expect a risk/injury,like in the case R v Roberts wherethe defendant offered to give the victim a lift and then wanted to have sexwith her then she said no so he started to drive off with her at a high speedleading her to injure herself by doing what anybody else would do, jump out.
Thedefendant claimed that he was unaware of risks and didn’t mean for the victimto suffer from ABH, even though he made her feel fear which was what lead herto jump out of the car. The third criticism I’m going to talk about is the lackof the seriousness needed in the actual harm area in Section 20 GBH, the onlything the prosecution need to show is that the defendant had intention to causesome harm, which could be the smallest type of harm. Like in the case R v Mowatt where the defendant beat thevictim unconscious due to the victim confronting the defendant about the defendant’spartner who helped steal form the victim. It was decided that theIntention/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 wheresomebody 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 defineboth “assault & battery” the only thing close to a definition is therequirements to cause them. Regarding ABH & GBH the separation doesn’t seemto be visible, it is the courts that actually make the decision of what causesserious harm, but everyone has different views on crimes and offenders,especially when both ABH and GBH include psychological pain because it’s hardto decide what amount of the pain of it comes under what offence, with noboundary as a guidance there will be no proper way in deciding. The finalcriticism I will be talking about is using a “wound” to separate Section 18from 20 being useless as there should only be one Section for GBH because ofthe case Moriarty v Brookes wherethe defendant hit a customer and used force to remove him from a pub.
He wasguilty as he broke the layers of the skin, but compared to a needle prick, youcan easily see that the needle isn’t a serious as the punches, so I believe ifthey had one Section they can easily charge somebody with GBH and giving them asuitable sentence rather that deciding over a wound.