R v Jones (Terence)
R v Michael Campbell
Court of Appeal
Citations: (1986) 83 Cr App R 375.
The appellants, schoolboys, were convicted of causing grievous bodily harm under s.20 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1867. This arose out of an incident in which they threw two other boys into the air as part of a game. They appealed their convictions, arguing that the victims had consented to the acts and the appellants had not foreseen any injury more serious than a few bruises. The judge at trial declined to direct the jury that this was a defence to the charge.
- Could the appellants rely on the victims’ consent as a defence to the offence?
The Court of Appeal quashed the convictions. The appellants were entitled to have the jury consider whether they had the defence of consent.
This Case is Authority For…
Consent to rough play in circumstances where the defendant does not intend to cause injury is a defence to a non-fatal offence against the person. The same is true where defendant genuinely believes the victim is consenting. The defendant does not need to show that their belief was reasonable.
The meaning of ‘intention’ or ‘recklessness’ under s.20 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1867 refers to an intention to cause GBH or subjective foresight of GBH – not a lesser kind of harm.