Regina v Martin: CCCR 1881

r_martin CCCCR

The defendant was accused of unlawful conduct in causing panic at a theatre (by turning off the lights and barring the doors) in the course of which a number of people were injured by trampling as they stampeded down a stairway. His conduct was intended as a prank, but any sane person would have realised that it was dangerous.
Held: He was guilty of the offence under section 20 of the 1861 Act: ‘inflicting grievous bodily harm does not require any physical contact between the accused and the victim’ The prisoner had acted: ‘unlawfully and maliciously’ . . in the sense of doing and unlawful act calculated to injure and by which others were injured.’
Lord Coleridge CJ said: ‘The prisoner must be taken to have intended the natural consequences of that which he did. He acted ‘unlawfully and maliciously’, not that he had any personal malice against the particular individuals injured, but in the sense of doing an unlawful act calculated to injure . . ‘
Stephen J said: ‘if the prisoner did that which he did as a mere piece of foolish mischief unlawfully and without excuse, he did it ‘wilfully’, that is, ‘maliciously’, within the meaning of the statute.’

Lord Coleridge CJ, Stephen J
(1881) 8 QBD 54
Offences against the Person Act 1861 20
Cited by:
CitedHaystead v Director of Public Prosecutions QBD 2-Jun-2000
The defendant had hit a mother in the face as she held the child. The force was sufficient to cause her to drop the child causing injury to the child. He appealed against a conviction for beating the child.
Held: The appeal failed. A battery . .
CitedRhodes v OPO and Another SC 20-May-2015
The mother sought to prevent a father from publishing a book about her child’s life. It was to contain passages she said may cause psychological harm to the 12 year old son. Mother and son lived in the USA and the family court here had no . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Leading Case

Updated: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.544326