LawTeacher logo
LawTeacher The law essay professionals
0115 966 7966 Today's Opening Times 10:00 - 20:00 (BST)

R v Brown and Stratton [1988] Crim LR 484

Drunken intent as sufficient mens rea for specific intent offences; how serious harm ought be assessed.

Facts

Brown and Stratton were cousins who jointly attacked Stratton’s father as Stratton found his father’s ongoing gender reassignment embarrassing. The drunken defendants went to the father’s house, intending to assault her and inflicted various injuries including a broken nose, a concussion and knocked out several teeth. The defendants pleaded guilty to actual bodily harm but denied causing grievous bodily harm.

Issue

Whether in considering if harm inflicted was ‘really serious’ to satisfy a GBH charge, the victim’s subjective opinion ought be considered or an objective approach ought be taken. Moreover, does drunken intent to cause general harm suffice for a finding of specific intent to cause harm, as is necessary for a charge of wounding or GBH under s. 20 of the Offences Against the Person Act, but not necessary for the lesser charge of ABH under s. 47.

Held

Upon appeal, the Court overturned the trial judge’s direction, instead finding that ‘really serious’ harm was to be understood from a general and objective perspective, rather than the victim’s subjective opinion. Nonetheless, it was deemed that the numerous lesser injuries sustained by the victim ought be considered together and thus were sufficient for a s. 20 charge, despite that none of the injuries viewed in isolation would have sufficed for this charge. However, it was found intoxication could be considered in determining whether there was specific intent, and on this ground the defendants’ charges were lessened to ABH under s. 47.


To export a reference to this article please select a referencing style below:

Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Invest In Your Future Today!
Place an Order