Specialist London Solicitors in Actual Bodily Harm (ABH) Cases
At MFI Law Limited we have the expertise in representing clients charged with Actual Bodily Harm (ABH). Our London Solicitors are available to represent clients at London Police Stations, Magistrates' and Crown Courts throughout the country.
Section 47 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861 states:
Whosoever shall be convicted upon an indictment of any assault occasioning actual bodily harm shall be liable…to be kept in penal servitude
Assault occasioning Actual Bodily Harm
Actual Bodily Harm (ABH) is committed when a person assaults another, thereby causing Actual Bodily Harm (ABH). Bodily harm has its ordinary meaning and includes any hurt calculated to interfere with the health or comfort of the victim: such hurt need not be permanent, but must be more than transient and trifling see the case of R v Donovan 25 Cr. App. Rep. 1, CCA.
The factors in law that distinguish a charge under section 39 (Common Assault) from a charge under section 47 (ABH) are the degree of injury resulting and the sentencing powers available to the sentencing court.
Where the injuries exceed those that can suitably be reflected by Common Assault – namely where the injuries are serious - a charge of ABH should normally be preferred.
In determining whether or not the injuries are serious, relevant factors may include, for example, the fact that there has been significant medical intervention and/or permanent effects have resulted. Examples may include cases where there is the need for a number of stitches or a hospital procedure under anaesthetic. But there may be other factors which are also relevant and these will need to be carefully considered when deciding whether or not the injuries are serious.
Psychological harm that involves more than mere emotions such as fear, distress or panic can amount to ABH. In any case where psychiatric injury is relied upon as the basis for an allegation of ABH, and the matter is not admitted by the defence, expert evidence must be called by the prosecution see the case of R v Chan-Fook 99 Cr. App. R. 147, CA.
Sentencing guidelines for Actual Bodily Harm
Maximum Sentence: 5 years imprisonment