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Assault is a summary offence with a maximum sentence on conviction of six

months imprisonment or a fine.


Assault and Battery

Trinidad and Tobago -Section 4 Summary Offences Act Chap. 11:02

Every person who unlawfully assaults or beats any other
person, upon complaint by or on behalf of the party
aggrieved, is
liable to a fine of four hundred dollars or to imprisonment for
three months.
Section 30 Offences Against the Person Act Chap. 11:08
Any person who is convicted upon an indictment of any
assault occasioning actual bodily harm is liable to
for five years; and any person who is convicted upon an
indictment for a common assault is liable to a fine of four
thousand dollars and to imprisonment for two years.
Grenada - Sections 20-22 Criminal Code Cap 1
Antigua and Barbuda - Section 43 Offences Against the Person Act
St. Lucia Section 115 Criminal Code
Guyana Section 43 Criminal Law (Offences) Act
Fagan v Metropolitan Police Commr. [1968]3 All E.R. 442
Def of Assault: A person is guilty of an assault if he intentionally or recklessly causes
another person to apprehend the application to his body of immediate, unlawful
force; for this reason the assault is sometimes referred to as psychic assault.
Def of Battery: A person is guilty of battery if he intentionally or recklessly applies
unlawful force to the body of another person.
Venna [1975)]3 All E.R. 788
Kimber [1983] 3 AllE.R. 316

Actus Reus of Assault: The creation of an apprehension or fear of the
imminent use of force
This consists of any act which makes the victim fear that unlawful force is about to

used against him or her. No force need actually be applied; creating the fear of it is
sufficient, so assault can be committed by raising a fist at the victim, or pointing
Nor does it matter that it may have been impossible for the defendant actually
To inflict any force, for example if the gun was unloaded, so long as the victim is
unaware of the impossibility of the threat being carried out.
Fagan (supra).
A policeman was directing the defendant to park his car. The defendant accidentally
drove onto the policeman's foot. The policeman shouted at him to get off. The
defendant refused to move. The defendant argued at the time of the actus reus, the
driving onto the foot, he lacked the mens rea of any offence since it was purely
accidental. When he formed the mens rea, he lacked the actus reus as he did
Held: The driving on to the foot and remaining there was part of a
continuing act.
Williams - "Assaults and Words" (1957) Crim. L.R. 216
Words Alone/Silence
Mead's and Belt's Case (1823)1 Lew CC 184
The defendants surrounded the victim's house singing threatening and menacing
Held: No assault was committed.
Holroyd J "no words or singing are equivalent to an assault"
Wilson [1955]1 All E.R. 744
Ansell v Thomas (1974) Crim. L.R. 31
R v Ireland [1997] 4 All E.R. 225
In R v Ireland and Burstow (1997) one of the defendants, Ireland, had made a large
number of unwanted telephone calls to three different women, remaining silent
when they answered the phone. All three victims suffered significant psychological
symptoms such as palpitations, cold sweats, anxiety, inability to sleep, dizziness
and stress as a result of the repeated calls. He was convicted under s. 47 of the
Offences Against the Person Act 1861. This offence is discussed below, but what is
important here is that for Ireland to have been liable there must have been an
assault. Ireland appealed against his conviction on the basis that there was no
assault since the requirement of immediacy had not been satisfied. His appeal was

dismissed by the Court of Appeal. The court stated that the requirement of
immediacy was in fact satisfied as, by
using the telephone, the appellant had put himself in immediate contact with the
victims, and when the victims lifted the telephone they were placed in immediate
fear and suffered psychological damage. It was not necessary for there to be
physical proximity between the defendant and the victim. A further appeal was
taken to the House of Lords in 1997 and, while the initial conviction was upheld, the
House of Lords refused to enter into a discussion of the requirement for immediacy.
They said that this was not necessary on the facts of the case as the appellant had
pleaded guilty and that, in any case, the existence of immediacy would depend
upon the circumstances in each case. It is not sufficient that the victim is
immediately put in fear, the fear must be of immediate violence.