The defendant fired his air gun from a window hitting a six year old girl. He admitted a section 47 assault on the basis that he had been unaware of her presence, and had given no thought to any risk.
Held: Failure to give any thought to a risk was insufficeint to found liabiity. Even in the absence of the term ‘maliciously’, the definition of every offence against the person implied a need to prove mens rea involving either intent or recklessness. The basis of the plea did not amount to an offence.
 1 WLR 1073,  2 All ER 210
Offences Against the Person Act 1861 47
England and Wales
Cited – Regina v Venna CACD 31-Jul-1975
An assault is an act by which the defendant intentionally or recklessly causes the complainant to apprehend immediate, or to sustain, unlawful personal violence. The jury ought to be directed that the defendant cannot be guilty of an assault unless . .
Cited – Director of Public Prosecutions v K (a Minor) QBD 1990
The defendant a schoolboy aged 15 had spilled some acid during a chemistry lesson. He went to wash his hands, but took a test tube of acid with him. Hearing others coming and panicking, he poured it into an upturned hot air drier. He returned to . .
Cited – Commissioner of Police v Caldwell HL 19-Mar-1981
The defendant got drunk and set fire to the hotel where he worked. Guests were present. He was indicted upon two counts of arson. He pleaded guilty to the 1(1) count but contested the 1(2) charge, saying he was so drunk that the thought there might . .
Overruled – Regina v Savage; Director of Public Prosecutions v Parmenter HL 7-Nov-1991
The first defendant had been convicted of wounding. She had intended to throw beer over her victim, but her glass slipped from her hand, and cut the victim. The second defendant threw his three year old child in the air and caught him, not realising . .
These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 27 February 2021; Ref: scu.182277