R v Rolfe (Kenneth) – Case Summary

R v Rolfe (Kenneth)

Court of Criminal Appeal

Citations: (1952) 36 Cr App R 4.


The appellant was convicted of indecent assault. He had confessed to exposing himself and moving towards the victim, but denied touching her. He appealed his conviction on the grounds that there had been no assault.

  1. Does assault require the defendant to touch the victim?

The Court of Appeal upheld the conviction. There was no need for the defendant to touch the victim.

This Case is Authority For…

The Lord Chief Justice explained that there is a distinction between assault and battery. He stated that:

‘the offence of assault is often confused with the offence of battery. An assault can be committed without touching a person. One always thinks of an assault as the giving of a blow to somebody, but that is not necessary.’


This case also discusses the rules of corroboration. These are no longer good law.