Grievous Bodily Harm (GBH)
WRITE: Grievous Bodily Harm (crime) is created and punished in s320 CC as when a person unlawfully does
grievous bodily harm to another and is punished by 14 years imprisonment. No summary trial available.
Has [accused] committed GBH?
1. Is [victim]’s injuries GBH:
WRITE: GBH is assessed at the time the harm is done (Lobston), and it is irrelevant whether medical treatment
was available (Charles). Here, [victim] has suffered [injury], this would fall within the s1(?) definition of GBH.
Apply definition and cases.
Definition – GBH - s 1:
(a) loss of distinct part or an organ of the body
(b) serious disfigurement
(c) any bodily injury of such a nature that, if left untreated, would endanger or be likely to endanger
life, or cause or be likely to cause permanent injury to health
• the injury must be of a permanent nature (Chan-Fook)
• term ‘bodily injury’ is broad enough to include psychiatric injury, provided it constituted an
identifiable clinic condition rather than mere emotion (Miller)
• ‘bodily injury’ can include disease such as gonorrhea (Clarence)
• Severing a substantial portion of an ear lobe not GBH, but now encompassed under new definition
(serious/cosmetic disfigurement): Tranby
• Knew he had gonorrhea (disease) and gave to wife, not GBH, but now encompassed under new
2. Causation: (Look to Homicide if require more information)
WRITE: ‘Does’ means to affect or to do or to bring to pass (Philip J), the test for causation is objective test of
what an ordinary reasonable person thinks was likely to result and what did result (Knack J) ard may be caused
immediately by initial acts or by the results of those acts combined with the acts/omissions of a 3 party (Stanley
J): Knutsen. Here, [apply]…
• Intention not an express requirement: s317
• Need to distinguish between foreseen as really likely or probable and remotely possible or fanciful:
Knutsen (leaving assaulted woman on road where run over by later car foreseeable)
• Victim Injured Whilst Escaping: Key element in causation is that the accused created in the victim’s
mind a well-founded and reasonable apprehension of danger, which the victim takes steps to escape:
Royall (victim fell from window and died, to escape) N.B. if pretty girl jumped out of window to save her
pretty face being scarred then unreasonable action for self-preservation and will break chain of causation.
3. Are [accused]’s actions lawful?
WRITE: Here [accused]’s actions are not authorised, justified or excused by law and as such are unlawful.
• No defence of provocation available, as no express element of assault: Kaporonovski
• Victim’s consent is irrelevant: s246 CC 4. Conclusion to GBH:
WRITE: In conclusion [accused] has/hasn’t committed GBH as created in s320 CC. Unlawful Wounding (Common charge where glass, jug, bottle involved)
WRITE: Unlawful wounding (misdemeanor) is created/defined and punished in s323 (1) CC as when a person
(a) unlawfully wounds another or (b) unlawfully, and with the intent to injure or annoy any person, causes any
poison or other noxious thing to be administered to, or taken by, any person. Punished by 7 years imprisonment.
No warrant for arrest required: s323(2)
Does not involve a charge of assault: Knusten
Has [accused] committed unlawful wounding?
1(a). Has [victim] been wounded?
WRITE: ‘Wound’ is not defined in the Code, but is considered to be when the ‘true skin’ (dermis) of the victim
has been broken (Jervis). Additionally the nature in which the wound is inflicted is immaterial (Smith). Here…
• Some severe injuries (e.g. broken nose) if skin is intact will NOT constitute a wound: McLoughlin
• Break in outer layer of skin