(1993) JELR 80180 (HL)    
House of Lords  ·  11 Mar 1993 ·  United Kingdom
Other Citations
[1994] 1 AC 212, [1993] 2 All ER 75, [1994] AC 212, [1993] UKHL 19, [1993] 2 WLR 556
Lord Templeman, Lord Jauncey, Lord Lowry, Lord Mustill, Lord Slynn
Core Terms Beta
actual bodily harm
public interest
bodily harm
er rep
consent of the person
consent of the victim
grievous bodily harm
serious bodily harm
court of appeal
stephen j
charge of assault
common assault
person act
swift j
unlawful act
cave j
judgment of the court of appeal
lord coleridge cj
present case
trial judge
act of gross indecency
bodily injury
common law
considerable force
lack of consent
such hurt
true view
bare fists lord lane cj
corruption of others
criminal code
criminal justice act
definition of assault
foreseeable incident of a lawful activity
freedoms of others
general principles
j j c
judgment of the court of criminal appeal
lord templeman
mr kershen qc
passage stephen j
private beat
purposes of sexual gratification
read judgment
such fights
unlawful personal violence

LORD TEMPLEMAN(reading the read judgment)

My Lords, the appellants were convicted of assaults occasioning actual bodily harm contrary to s 47 of the Offences against the Person Act 1861. Three of the appellants were also convicted of wounding contrary to s 20 of the 1861 Act. The incidents which led to each conviction occurred in the course of consensual sado-masochistic homosexual encounters. The Court of Appeal upheld the convictions and certified the following point of law of general public importance:

'Where A wounds or assaults B occasioning him actual bodily harm in the course of a sadomasochistic encounter, does the prosecution have to prove lack of consent on the part of B before they can establish A's guilt under section 20 and section 47 of the 1861, Offences Against the Person Act?'

The definition of assault set forth in the 14th Report of the Criminal Law Revision Committee on Offences against the Person (Cmnd 7844 (1980)) para 158 and adopted by the Law Commission in their C…

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