Introduction to the case I:
Tariq and Bilal are good friends. They decided to meet in the local bar for a drink. Tariq knows that Bilal is sacred of spiders. Their third partner in the drink was Andy. Andy became so angry at Tariq. Because he did not like this act of Tariq, Andy punched Tariq’s face which harm Tariq’s eye and Tariq had a black eye as a result of the punch.
There are the following facts in this case
Which rule will apply here?
To identify and applying the rule, it is necessary to make sure which law or rule is violated by Tariq and Andy. Tariq used the joke to frighten the Bilal while knowing that Bilal is sacred of spiders. Andy punched on the face of Tariq.
It might be assault and battery. To fit the assault with Tariq and battery with Andy it needs to discuss the definition and possibilities of both assault and battery.
Generally, assault can be deal with physical attacks. But this also includes raising a fist, pointed a loaded gun while the victim is within the range, but there is no ultimate injury or wounds or any other serious harm. Like if the defendant throws a stone at the victim and the stone misses, even would not touch the victim’s body, it means the defendant throws the stone but the victim remained safe from the injury or any ultimate serious harm. Same in the case of Tariq and Bilal, Tariq know that Bilal is sacred of a spider that is why he just made a joke with Bilal and placed a spider in his drink. Bilal was frightened and fainted, but there is no ultimate injury or harm to the Bilal. He just fainted and definitely will come in sense after a while.
What was the intention of Tariq while making the joke with Bilal?
Tariq just wants to make fun with his friend. He did not have any clear intention that Bilal will faint after seeing the spider. So it can be dealt with under the act of assault. To further explain, it can compare with the case of R v Logdon (1976). In this case, the defendant pointed a replica gun at the victim. The defendant just wants to make fun with the victim, but the victim did not know that the gun is not real. The victim considered the replica gun as real and show response in form of immediate physical violence.
Similarities between the case of Tariq v Bilal and R v Logdon (1976)
Both the cases are similar from initiate to end. Like in the case of R v Logdon (1976) defendant pointed a replica gun at the victim; this situation is the same as Tariq placed a plastic spider in the drink of Bilal. In the case of R v Logdon (1976), the victim became frightened, and the same in the case of Tariq v Bilal. Bilal was frightened too much by the replica spider. In the case of R v Logdon (1976) victim shows the response in the form of immediate physical violence, and in the case of Tariq v Bilal, the victim also shows response by fainted or became physically nonsensical for a while. Both the cases are similar in terms of men’s rea also. In both cases, the defendant did not want to make any unlawful act but wants to make fun with the victim. So both the cases would deal with the act of assault.
Now, the scene is not ended. This joke has consequences on Tariq and his friends beyond Tariq’s fiction. Andy who was the drinking partner of Tariq and Bilal when saw the entire situation he just punched Tariq. It can be dealt with under the act of battery. To deal with this offense of Andy under the act of battery it is necessary that the act of Andy fulfill the requirements of battery and would according to the definition of battery in the law of the United Kingdom.
According to the law of the United Kingdom, a battery has two elements. The first element is the defendant touches the body of the victim unlawfully or implies force on the victim. The second element is the actus reus. Actus reus means the intention of the defendant to touch the body of the victim unlawfully or it was just recklessness by the defendant. Generally, the battery is also included in an assault, but with the difference of harm. The main difference between assault and battery is the actual bodily harm.
Actual bodily harm
According to Section 47 Offences Against the Persons Act 1861, if an assault cause bodily harm then it will be a battery, and the “actual bodily harm” means serious injury but not permanent.
It means if the defendant throws a stone at the victim and it misses then it is an assault but if the stone hits the victim and causes serious injury then it will be the case of battery.
Grievous Bodily Harm
According to the S20 Offences Against the Persons Act 1861
“Whosoever shall unlawfully and maliciously wound or inflict any grievous bodily harm upon any other person, either with or without any weapon or instrument, shall be guilty of a misdemeanour”
Is the case of the Andy v Tariq battery?
Yes, the case of the Andy v battery is the case of battery, because the circumstances in the case of Andy v Tariq fulfil all elements of battery. As Andy touched the body of Tariq unlawfully and punched him, this causes the serious injury in the eye of Tariq. The second is Andy did this intentionally. Because, Andy was angry at the foolish action by Tariq, so Andy made an offense of battery. To further explain it can compare with the case of T v DPP 2003. The facts of this case are similar to the case of Andy and Tariq. In the case of T v, DPP 2003 victim was chased by the defendant and the victim fell on the ground and kicked by the defendant. It means the defendant used force on the body of the victim as the same thing happened in the case of Andy and Tariq. Andy used force on the body of Tariq and causes him injury in his eye. So the case of Andy and Tariq will deal under the act of 1861.
Role of legal personnel and lay personnel in magistrates’ court
First, it needs to be identifying that who is legal personnel and lay personnel in magistrates’’ court and what can they do? In the United Kingdom, legal personnel generally considered lawyers. The lawyers are divided into two classes. One is a solicitor and the other is a barrister. Usually, the solicitor considers inferior to the barrister. Only barristers have the right to the audience, while solicitors make communication with the victim or defendant. Barrister works based on the work of a solicitor. Lay personnel involve the magistrates and judges of magistrate courts. They are usually not trained as judges but they can sort out the basic issues between the defendant and victim. This makes it easy for the common citizen to get justice. They can also make a rule and make decisions according to the circumstances at the local level. The laws made by them are referred to as bylaw at the local level.
After differentiating between legal personnel and lay personnel it becomes easy to describe their role in their domains. Legal personnel include lawyers, and in the United Kingdom the lawyers are the solicitors and barristers. So the solicitor will interact with the defendant and the victim as well. It means Tariq and Andy both need a solicitor. Tariq would the real situation to the solicitor that he just wanted to make fun with Bilal and did not harm him intentionally. He did not think about it that Bilal could faint. Andy will tell the solicitor that he just punched Tariq’s face due to the foolish act of Tariq and he did it unintentionally he also did not want any injury in the eye of Tariq. All this happened in the immediate response to Tariq’s act. The solicitor after understanding all the facts and circumstances will communicate to the barrister because in the United Kingdom barrister has the right to the audience, not the solicitor. So, it means that the barrister defends the defendants in magistrates’ court on behalf of the work of the solicitor. Now the ball is in the court of lay personnel, which include the magistrate and judges of magistrates’ court. They will decide based on the case which barrister made in front of lay personnel.
They can punish Tariq and Andy as well because they committing an offense. But there can be different roles of both legal and lay personnel. If legal personnel found that this was just an incident and no one wanted to commit any offense, then it might be possible that the legal personnel try to sort out the problem by mutual harmony between the defendant and victim. This role also can be played by the magistrate or lay personnel. If lay personnel feel that these offenses cannot be dealt with under any act of the country then the magistrate has the right to solve the matter by its intention. This role can be justified under the umbrella of delegated legislation by law under the local government act 1972. Because, the state do not know all the necessities for the courts in all cities and councils, that is why it is permissible for the local courts to sort out the matter by their intention. So the following role can be played by the legal personnel and lay personnel in this particular case.
Firstly, the legal personnel can advise their client to win the case in court.
Secondly, legal personnel could force them to sort out the matter with mutual understanding.
Thirdly, the legal personnel appeal to the magistrates to make new laws at the local level for this kind of misbehaves.
Fourthly, the lay personnel might punish the defendant or release them by giving them a warning.
Fifthly, lay personnel might make new laws at the local level and involved all local bars in this law.
Last but not least, lay personnel also can give a warning to the owner of the bar to manage this kind of management in a good manner.
Role of legal and lay personnel in crown court
To explain the role of legal and lay personnel in crown court, it is necessary to understand about the crown court. This is the court of high power than that of magistrates’ court. It can only be deal with the serious criminal offences. If magistrates’ court would not resolve the issue at its level then the case could be send to the crown courts. Legal personnel are lawyers and lay personnel are judges in the crown court. Legal personnel can play positive role in this particular case, because this is a case of simple offence not such serious to be deal in the crown court. Crown court has the right to decide that which case should be hear in which court. So the legal personnel would play the role by appealing to the victim and lay personnel as well to reject the case on the bases of seriousness of the crime. Lay personnel can also play the positive role by accepting the appeal of legal personnel by rejecting the case and send it again in magistrates’ court to deal as it can.
Duty Solicitor scheme
A Duty Solicitor is a Criminal Defence Solicitor who helps offenders if they are suspected or accused of committing a crime. They are qualified to work for a firm, or independently on a self-employed basis, but are neither a member of the police force nor employed by the courts.
Funded work of solicitor
The funded solicitor funded by a company or government as well. The funded solicitor also helpful to “get representation in crown courts”, the funding solicitor get funds from clients and will do what they want in the court and represent the case of defendant or victim strongly in magistrates’ court and also in crown court.
Advice to the clients
This case is divided into two parts. One part deals with Tariq and Bilal, and the other part deals with Andy and Tariq.
Advice letter to Tariq
I am your legal advisor, I read your case. you wanted to make a have some jokebut your friend fainted and fell down. You know your situation in general but not legal. I know your legal position; you made an offence of assault. The expected sentence for this assault might be fine or imprisonment from six month to 5 years if it proved as battery instead of assault. But do not worry i will prove it just an accident or common assault.
I advise you to focus on the following points in the court and do not leave your position from these points in any condition.
Firstly, your legal position is strong because you are the offender and victim in the same case.
Secondly, you have no intention to make any battery or assault but you just wanted to make fun with your friend.
Thirdly, Bilal has not any physical harm, either actual bodily harm or grievous bodily harm.
So, focus on these points in the case and remain calm.
Advice letter to Andy
I am your legal advisor, I read your case; you punched your friend and he has an actual bodily harm. This means that you have committed an offence of battery. According to the law you might sentenced for heavy fine or imprisonment of five years.
But do not worry I am giving you advice about your legal position which might save you from punishment.
Do not step down from the fact that you have not any intention to harm Tariq in such a way. It all just happened because of immediate reaction unintentionally, and you should also concern with Tariq to sort out the problem in the court with soft attitude. If you follow this piece of advice then it is possible that you might have release from the court or you would have minimum punishment for this.
To conclude the case study I, it can be said that “Tariq and Andy committed the offense of assault and battery respectively, and they can only be saved from the punishment by the positive role of legal and lay personnel based on making relief law by using delegated legislation bylaw.
Case study II
Megan and Sinead play netball for local teams, once they playing the match netball in a local leisure centre after the second half Megan’s team lost a penalty. She became angry on this while Sinead was standing very sad and unconscious. Megan pushed Sinead in anger; in return, Sinead punched Megan which caused Megan to fall backward. Megan lost her balance, due to loss of balance the ankle of Megan was strained, but she continued the game as well. As a result, the sprain changed into an injury and she had surgery in the local hospital. Now she is not able to play netball in future.
There are following facts in this case.
Which rule will apply?
According to the person act 1861, Megan and Sinead committed an offense of assault and battery respectively. According to the definition and conditions of the battery, pushing someone in anger that might cause harm can be deal under battery but as in the case of Megan v Sinead, Sinead has faced no harm as resulting of pushing by Megan, so this may deal under the assault because there is no harm to anyone. But this assault made Sinead immediate and she punched immediately Megan which cause harm to her ankle deal under battery because this is actual bodily harm. The rule which applied in the case of Fagan v MPC (1968) would be applied in the case of the first part of the case. In the case of Fagan v MPC (1968) defendant drove the car on the foot of the police unintentionally, the court decided it was the battery because the police man had actual bodily harm but no “actual bodily harm” in the case of Megan v Sinead. Megan was forestrated and pushed Sinead who was standing in her way, pushing in anger and frustration shows the actus reus of the act so it is an assault because she was intended to do this. The rule which applies in the case of R v Haystead (2000) will apply in the case of Megan v Sinead. In the case of R v Haystead (2000) defendant punched his girlfriend and she dropped the baby which she was holding. The defendant convicted with battery. The same happened in the case of Megan v Sinead, Sinead punched Megan and she lost her balance, and this cause sprain in her ankle, so, Sinead also be convicted of battery.
Role of legal personnel and lay personnel in magistrates’ court
Legal personnel, solicitor and barristers can play positive role in magistrates’ court. They can satisfy the lay personnel to leave the matter with just a warning, minimal punishment, and might be maximum punishment of five years imprisonment on battery. Lay personnel have very specific and important. Lay personnel can make a rule at the local level for the local leisure centre that they have to appear a law sheet on the main gate of the centre which includes that pushing someone in frustration or anger is not allowed. Whoever pushes the other in anger will be eliminated from the game, and the responsibility of implementation of all these rules will be on the owner of the centre or local government. If any player would injure in the game, then it will be eliminated immediately, and cannot play even with a small injury. This might be very helpful for the future and this is the role which should play by the legal and lay personnel, and this is the role which would play by the magistrate and lawyers if they are sincere. Legal personnel and lay personnel should use their power to make law at the local level to save the lives of citizens from imprisonment due to a small assault and also would play an important role to hamper these kinds of tragedies again within the city.
Role of legal and lay personnel in crown court
Crown court only available for the serious case like Megan cannot play in the future due to serious injury. This act destroys and ends her future. So, this might be a serious case for Sinead. But as it is very clear that it is the case of assault and battery then the court should refer this case to the local level. The legal and lay personnel in crown court can play the bigger role in this case and can make this case as an example for the future and ask government institutions to legislate the law as magistrates’ court would do at the local level.
Advice to the client
In this case, both may be victim and defendant. Because Sinead is the victim of an assault while Megan is the victim of a battery. So the advice for Megan is that its position is strong in case of assault.
Advice letter for Megan
I am your legal advisor. I have read your case; you pushed your friend during game which is illegal. You consider it as usual but do not consider on its legal consequences. You have committed an offence of assault. Luckily, Sinead, your friend has no actual bodily harm and no grievous bodily harm.
I am giving you a piece of advice which will sustain your legal position strong in magistrates’ court and also in crown court.
First of all do not leave the fact that you did it intentionally. Then focous on the point, Sinead has no actual bodily harm, and you were in frustration and you just pushed her to make your way because she was standing in your way.
If you follow these advices then hopefully you will release from the court with respect.
Advice letter for Sinead
I am your legal advisor, I have read your case; it is a little bit complicated with sprained and injury. Your friend Megan pushed you and in return you punched on her face. As a result she lost her balance which cause sprain in her ankle. Then she decided to continue the game with this sprain and this destroys her future in netball because she is not able to play anymore because of injury.
You have committed an offence of battery and for the punch you might sentenced with heavy fine and also imprisonment for five years, but with this you might also be sentenced to destroy her future. I am giving you advice to save yourself from all these legal complexities.
First of all do not step down from the fact that you just did it as an immediate response. You not did it by planned. Secondly when she lost her balance then she sprained in her ankle, so you are responsible for just sprain not injury. Because, after this act which you did unintentionally, it was her decision to continue the game which break the chain of causation and you are free from the offence of injury and destroying her future.
So do not worries, if you follow these advices and will save you from maximum punishment It may be possible that court will fine you on your offence but due to my advices you will save from the maximum punishment.
Types of sentencing
Generally there are four possible types of sentencing in relation to these cases. These types are probation, fines, short-term incarceration, out if these four only two can be applied for both the cases, fines and short term incarceration or imprisonment. In each case possible sentences for the offender are fine and maximum five year imprisonment.
Aims of sentencing
There can be possible aims of sentencing like retribution for the victim and the family of victim. This may increase the respect of law in mind of victim. Threat the offender to hamper the offence for the next time. Another aim of sentencing might be to make the society free of crimes. Rehabilitation and restitution are also the aim of sentencing.
To conclude it can be said that this case can be proved a test for legal and lay personnel in the sphere of delegated legislation bylaw at local and state level. Megan and Sinead are committed offences of assault and battery respectively but can be saved their legal position in both courts as this event happened during the game and frustration. Sinead has no role in destroying the netball future of Megan because there is the break of the chain of causation that will save Sinead from the maximum punishment.