Non-fatal offences can be criticised in many ways, one way that they can be criticised is the language that is used in the OAPA, the language that is used can be seen as outdated, some examples of the words that are very outdated is “malicious” and “grievous”, these words aren’t used that often in everyday life. The word grievous seems to mean something very bad and critical, because these words can be used out of context the courts sometimes have to interpret them so that everyone can understand it.
Another way how a non-fatal offence can be criticised is the fact that battery and assault doesn’t have a statutory definition, and there aren’t any clear boundaries between assault and battery. Any touching that is intentional without a person’s consent can be classed as battery, this is shown in the case of R Vs Thomas, and in this case the defendant was convicted of battery on a 12 year old girl, by touching the hem of her skirt. This was classed as battery because the girl didn’t give the man consent to touch her.
The word battery suggests that the force that is used is very high and very violent, however as seen in the case of R Vs Thomas battery can be classed as the slightest touch.
However with ABH any form injury that will make the victim feel uncomfortable can be classed as ABH, this is shown in the case of R Vs Miller, and in this case the defendant was homeless and went out for the evening he returned to the house he was squatting at. He lit a cigarette and fell asleep on the mattress. When he woke up he realised that the room that he was in was on fire, and instead of calling the fire brigade so that they can help, he left the room that was on fire and went to another room and went back to sleep. When in court he was charged with arson because he put others at risk by not trying to help. In this case the defendant had the duty to extinguish the fire, but he didn’t. There isn’t that big of a difference between the two, beside the fact that both of them will cause the victim some form of discomfort, however the maximum sentence for someone who committed battery is 6 months, yet the maximum for ABH is 5 years