Firstly, one similarity of assault and battery is that they both form the mens rea. For example, both intention and recklessness form mens rea. The mens rea of assault is content when the defendant intends to cause the victim to apprehend violence or does it recklessly. This can be found in the case of Ry Savage (1991), a woman threw a pint of beer over the victim’s head in a pub. The glass slipped out of her hand, smashed and cut the victims wrist. The victim was the defendant’s husband’s ex-girlfriend so there was tension between them. The defendant said it was never her intention to throw glass.
The prosecution only needed to prove that the defendant wanted to soak her victim with beer and not to actually harm her beyond this. Similarly, the mens rea for battery to be content is if there is intention to apply physical force or recklessness. This can be shown in the case Rv Latimer (1886) where the defendant aimed to attack a man with a belt. The belt bounced off the man and struck the victim. The defendant was guilty of battery even though he did not mean to hit the victim. The defendant had enough mens rea to hit the man with his belt.
The act on the victim gratified the actus reus of battery. However, the difference between assault and battery is the application of the test. For example, direct intention means a desire for result. So for assault, the test would be if the defendant desired to apprehend violence. An example of this is in the case of Rv Ireland. This is where the defendant terrorised the victim, who suffered psychiatric injury with silent phone calls. Whereas, for battery, the test is objective. In the case Rv Roberts, the defendant was in a car with a 21-year-old woman, they were travelling between two parties.
The defendant touched the victim inappropriately which resulted in her jumping out the car, sustaining injuries. The proper test for occasioning, is not whether the defendant foresaw the behaviour of the victim but whether the behaviour could have reasonably been foreseen as the consequence of what he was doing/saying. The difference is, for assault the defendant desired to apprehend violence whereas for battery, the defendant was reckless as to whether such harm would be caused. Actus Reus A similarity between assault and battery is that they both attract up to 6-months imprisonment, under s. or up to a ? 5000 fine under s. 39 1988.
Both assault and battery are heard in magistrates’ court as summary trials. Another similarity is in case of assault, the victim does not need to show any injuries, the fact that they were frightened would be enough assault regarding actus reus. For example, in the case of R v Logdon (1976) the defendant pointed a replica gun at the victim as a joke. The victim was terrified until he told her it was a fake pistol. It was held that the victim apprehended immediate violence and the defendant was reckless as to whether this would occur.
Likewise, for battery, even if the victim is touched, no injuries required. E. g. R v Roberts, the defendant was in a car with a 21-year-old woman, they were travelling between two parties. The defendant touched the victim inappropriately which resulted in her jumping out the car, sustaining injuries. Therefore, no injuries are needed to be shown. Equally, for battery, force can be applied indirectly. E. g. in the case of R v Martin (1881) the defendant put an iron bar through an exit door in a theatre, as a joke. He then turned off the lights and shouted “FIRE”.
As a result of this, many people were injured. It was held that the defendant must be taken to have intended the consequences of that which he did. Similar to this, with assault force can likewise be applied indirectly. This can be shown in the case of R v Ireland, immediacy was found in phone calls and verbal communication by the defendant, the victim feared the phone call was just to establish whether she was home. Sentencing There are many comparisons on sentencing between assault and battery. For assault, the court can impose any penalties.
For example, prison sentence, suspended sentence, community service, fines and periodic detention. Such offences can be complicated if there are aggravating factors. Such as, history of violent offences, vulnerable victims, gang relation crimes or even weapons used. Whereas, for battery, it is a summary offence which carries a maximum penalty of six months’ imprisonment and/or a ? 2,000 fine, when a magistrate or judge sentences a person, many factors will influence their decision such as aggravating factors. Likewise, with assault.