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Case Study: Fitzwilliam Darcy and George Wickham

Part 1

Reddington Dembe,

P.o.Box 28-93874,



Area Commander of police,

P.o.Box 28-93874,


Dear Sir,

RE: Request of the withdrawal of the charge of Assault Occasioning Actual Bodily Harm

In a case of Assault Occasioning Actual Bodily Harm the prosecution is compelled to prove beyond doubt the various acts that may or may not have taken place during the claimed assault. They should first of all prove beyond doubt that the act indeed at first instance took place. This act ought to involve applying force on someone else’s body. This can be through touch or even striking by one of the parties. A statement from the neighbour clearly states that they only hard of a yelling coming from where they allegedly were.

On looking out of the window they only saw a wheelie bin that was thrown in the direction of the vehicle that was reversing. After that they only saw him, Mr Wickham walk out of the car to inspect it if any damage had been on it before he waked out of their view. This clearly is in the defence of my client as it was self-defence after his car was damaged by the accuser (Bell and Harrison, 1993 pg. 83-86). This clearly shows that the charge may not stand without question as his acts were questionable in the law because they were violent and irrational.

The Mens Rea of intention is very vital in the proving of the case. The prosecution should be able to prove beyond any reasonable doubt that the act that was done was intentional and very reckless. The act of recklessness should have had an effect on the person and hence result in the actual bodily harm on them. Intention should also be premeditated and planned even before. In this case that is very clear there is no intention and Mr Darcy was even the first one to engage Mr Wickham by throwing the wheelie bin at his car with an intention to teach him a so called lesson which the bin hit his car and destroyed some parts of the car and it is very reasonable for any person to be angry and he walked to Mr Darcy to question him. The absence of recklessness and intention here is very clear. This is a defence to my client as the prosecution have to prove beyond any reasonable doubt that the act was intentional and reckless. The prosecution are obliged to prove of the presence of my clients’ recklessness and intention and failure to prove this shows the absence of the men rea hence the innocence of my client in this case (Giles, 1994 pg. 101-111).

The prosecution is embedded with the burden of also proving that the act that was done was without the consent of the person to whom the act was done. Mr Darcy in this case even starts the fight by throwing the bin as the neighbours saw it happen. This can be seen as any reasonable man an intention to hurt you even physically (Virgo, 1991 pg. 226-229). He attacked first by the action of throwing the bi at my car and even destroying parts of it hence my client is not to be blamed on the actions of the accuser.

They should also prove that the action caused actual body harm to the claimant. This can be done by evidence or even clear pictures that are taken immediately of bruises or injuries by the claimant (Harrison and Bell, 1990. Pg. 518-524). Redness on the cheek does not necessarily show that Mr Wickham threw blows at him and even hit or touched his face continuously. He could have fallen in the hurry to help his kids out of the way or even during the act of throwing the bin at Mr Wickham’s car, there is a huge probability that he hit himself in the process with all that anger and urge to even teach him a lesson. As stated in the case Republic v Donovan the injury caused should not be permanent but it ought to be more than mere trifle. Redness of the cheek does not constitute to the actual bodily harm but a mere assault which maybe be the case hence the claims are baseless. In the defence of my client it could also have been a self-defence against Mr Darcy (Ormerod, 1997 pg. 645-651). He even attacked my client first. There is no evidence that shows he did not proceed to attack him again and hence my client used reasonable force in defence and defended himself.


Bell, B. and Harrison, K., 1993. R v Savage, DPP v Parmenter and the Law of Assault. The Modern Law Review, 56(1), pp.83-86.

Giles, M., 1994. R v Brown: Consensual harm and the public interest. The Modern Law Review, 57(1), pp.101-111.

Harrison, K. and Bell, B., 1990. Assaulting Our Common Sense. The Impact of DPP v K. The Modern Law Review, 53(4), pp.518-524.

Ormerod, D., 1997. Psychiatric harm and criminal law. Journal of Forensic Psychiatry, 8(3), pp.645-651.

Republic v Donovan [1934]

Virgo, G., 1991. Assault Occasioning Actual Bodily Harm—A Legal Assault Course. The Cambridge Law Journal, 50(2), pp.226-229.

Part 2: Report


This report is an assessment of the issues raised. Assault occasioning bodily harm is a section 59 criminal offence of the Crimes Act of 1990. As by Assault, (1967 pg. 80), sentences available for this offence is a maximum of five years’ imprisonment that is if its decided by a higher court but two years if by a lower court but if done in the company of one or more other persons it increases the maximum penalty available to seven years. This offence involves an action inflicting ’actual pain’ on the claimant.


The issue on board is of Assault Occasioning Actual Bodily Harm. The offence here is a claim by one of being physically assaulted by another and the assault caused actual pain on them. A lawyer of the accused has in written asked the commander to withdraw the charge and maybe charge on assault.


We have received your letter and read it. Some of the issues raised include striking of the other part ought to be proven and proven beyond any reasonable doubt. During the arrest we received a complaint by neighbours of what was taking place and we got there just in time. We separate both of them and inquire of their identities. On closer observation we notice a redness on the cheek of Mr Darcy. On further consultation with my partner we decided to arrest your client Mr Wickham on the charge of Assault Occasioning Actual Bodily Harm (Devereux, 1985 pg. 151). This was clear as in that instance no sensible man would just have hit himself on the cheeks till they became red. The basis of our claims is the anger on your clients face as he approached Mr Darcy. That clearly shows the intention to harm him and hence the redness on the cheeks from the blows that were received.

The second issue you raised was on the approval of the Mens Rea of the accused. Mens Rea here involves the recklessness and the intention. Your client first throws the bin directly at Mr Darcy which misses him by inches. This shows the intention of one to cause bodily harm to another hence prove of intention and recklessness as he throws the bin carelessly not minding where it landed or whoever it hit and whatever damage it would have caused on the other party. Our claim on intention and recklessness can and will be proved in court.

The action was also done on the claimant clearly without his permission. He could not have allowed one to clearly hi him at his face until it turned red and then later accuse the person of hurting him. The claim of permission is totally out of question and because it must be proved in a court of law we will prove it and because it is important the case is very much viable and the offences can be proven (Reed, 1995 pg. 187-197).

Proof of actual bodily harm is clearly evident because of the swelling and the redness of the cheeks of the claimant that could not have come by themselves and as they were not there before your client hit him. This we can prove both medically of the swells and redness and pictures that were taken the day we made an accusation against your client.


It is of my opinion that the charge presented above is viable and can be sued against in a court of law and the suit can be won. I am against the opinion of assault as the alternative of the accusation because as the evidence shows there is physical harm that is done to the claimant in question hence we would have gone against his rights against brutality to waive our accusation and bring it down only to assault. As by Bettinson, (2009 pg. 493), the act clearly took place as we were there and my partner can bear me witness to what we saw and decided to come up with the arrest and later charge in a court of law. Our arrest was reasonable since we could not have just arrested random persons in the street and create a scenario of them fighting or beating another. In this case intention and recklessness can be proved too beyond any reasonable doubt as it is a requirement in Criminal Law. Intention is present as he throws that can in the direction of the claimant which misses him but gives us the impression of what indeed was the intention or what was to be reached at (Jackson, 2013 pg. 102-15). There is recklessness by the accused as he throws the bin not caring who or what was on the other side or what damage it caused. This is proof of the recklessness of one.

Permission is also important in the same case as it is to be proven by the accused. The claimant obviously gave out no permission to be hit on the face by the other party but the other party still goes on with the act hence injuring the claimant as its seen by the swelling and the redness o the cheeks. No reasonable and correct thinking man can give our consent to another for them to be hit on the face. This will be impossible for the accused to prove otherwise since the claimant is a sane man. The claim of proof of actual harm can be done as a doctor can check and recommend the coming of the swelling and the redness of the cheeks (Atoki, 1995 pg. 299-304). In a right thinking man this could not have come by themselves as people don’t just meet others and then start to have swellings on their faces with no apparent reason.

On the other hand, we could charge the accused with common assault as in section thirty-nine of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 (Hare, 1993 pg. 74-83). This is because common assault is when one causes suffering to another intentionally and also recklessly. It can also include battery which is committed by the application of unlawful force on another person recklessly and intentionally. If we can prove that there was battery the accused can be charged with assault by beating as in the case of director of public prosecution verses little [1992]. Provided the proof of the recklessness and intention of the accused to do it the amount of force used can be as small as it can be.


Assault, O.A.B., Bail, C., Foiled, B.F., Trial, B.B., Forstalled, C., Caravan, W.M.H.R., Card, C., Pecuniary, O. and as Evidence, C.R., 1967. Index to Volume XL. Blood, p.80.

Atoki, M., 1995. Assault and S 47 of the Offences against the Person Act 1861. The Journal of Criminal Law, 59(3), pp.299-304.

Bettinson, V., 2009. Extended sentences for domestic violence offences. J. Crim. L., 73, p.463.

Devereux, J.A., 1985. Consent as a Defence to Assaults Occasioning Bodily Harm-The Queensland Dilemma. U. Queensland LJ, 14, p.151.

Hare, I., 1993. R v Savage, DPP v Parmenter. A Compelling Case for the Code. The Modern Law Review, 56(1), pp.74-83.

Jackson, A., 2013. Common Assault: Alternatives and Attempts: R v Nelson (Gary)[2013] EWCA Crim 30. The Journal of Criminal Law, 77(2), pp.102-105.

Reed, A., 1995. Offences against the Person: The Need for Reform. The Journal of Criminal Law, 59(2), pp.187-197.

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