Crime XXXXXXXXXVI – s.18 and s.20 of the Offences Against Person Act (1861) II
The mens rea (mental element) to convict under s18 of the Offences Against Person Act is as follows: -
1. Intention to cause GBH (grievous bodily harm)
2. With intent to resist or prevent the lawful apprehension or detainer of any person.
s.18 convictions are reserved for more severe or serious offences which is made evident by the penalty that is imposed.
The test to determine intention is provided in Section 8 of the Criminal Justice Act (1967) – proof of criminal intent. A court or jury, in determining whether a person has committed an offence –
(a) shall not be bound in law to infer that he intended or foresaw a result of his actions by reason only of its being a natural and probable consequence of those actions; but
(b) shall decide whether he did intend or foresee that result by reference to all the evidence, drawing such inferences from the evidence as appear proper in the circumstances.
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