Tort - Trespass to the Person (Battery- the direct and intentional…
Tort - Trespass to the Person
- the direct and intentional application of force by the defendant to the claimant without lawful justification
Fowler v Lanning
. Claimant had been shot by the defendant and had issued proceedings but did not specify if intentional
Letang v Cooper 
- Claimant was sunbathing in a hotel car park when the defendant ran over her leg unintentionally. Negligence, not trespass to the person
Iqbal v Prison Officers Association 
- Court of Appeal held that the intention to apply force includes subjective recklessness
The doctrine of transferred malice applies here so if the defendant intends to make contact with X but instead touches Y. Tort of battery therefore committed against Y
Livingstone v Ministry of Defence 
Reynolds v Clarke (1725)
'if a man throws a log on the highway, and in that act it hits me, I may maintain a trespass because it is an immediate wrong'
Scott v Shepherd (1773)
- courts broadly defined 'direct act' to include an application of force that is a direct and immediate result of the defendant's actions. The D threw a firework into a market palce, stall A threw to B, b threw to C and it injured the claimant. Court held that there was a sufficient connection between Ds act and damage to satisfy directness
Application of force - any physical contact will constitute force. No need for actual damage as trespass is actionalble per se.
Cole v Turner (1704)
- stressed that the least touching of another consitutes an application of force.
R v Cotesworth (1704) spitting in doctor's face amounted to this.
Nash v Sheen ** where a hairdresser who died her client's hair without consent
Extra requirement of hostility - not every touching will be a battery. It will depend on the circumstances of the case. clearly a violent and aggressive touching may be a battery. It can also be argued that many acts will be expressly or impliedly consented to
Wilson v Pringle 
CofAppeal described a battery as an intentional touching accompanied by hostility. Two school boys had been playing in the playground and one had been hurt. It was held that there would be no battery if the touching could have been expressly or impliedly consented to.
F v West BErkshire Health Authority 
the HOL interpteted hostile to mean that the defendant acted without consent. Goes beyond the bounds of general acceptavle daily conduct
unlawful - the D will have a defence if there is a lawful justification
- an act of the defendant which directly and intentionally causes the claimant to apprehend an immediate battery or physical contact
Collins v Wilcock 
The Defendant must have intended to act for an assault i.e. must have intended for the claimant to apprehend immediate battery/physical contact, or is subjectively reckless as to the consequences
Can words amount to assault?
R v Wilson 
argued that words alone might suffice for an assault, the logical argument being that if the essence of an assault is creating the apprehension of battery
Silence may also amount to an assault - psychiactric damage
R v Ireland 
Causes the claimant to apprehend immediate battery - a threat to harm in the future wouldn't amount to assault
Thomas v NUM 
- claimant was being transported to work during miner's strike and subject to taunts and threats as he passed picket line. he was in an adequately protected vehicle so threats weren't an assault
Stephens v Myers (1830)
D lunged at the claimant in a meeting and was restrained by those close to the C. There was an assault in this case since the threat was immediate and pressing which might have actually occurred had it not been for the intervention of others
A problem with this is whether the test is based on what the actual claimant feared or what a reasonable claimant would have apprehended in those circumstances. The preferable view is that it is the effect on the reasonable claimant. This would ensure that blameless peiple do not find themselves tortfeasors because they happen to make an innocent gesture in front of a neurotic person
did the claimant fear immediate batters (subjective)? would a reasonable person in that position have feared immediate battery (objective)?
Unlawful - D will have a defence if has lawful justication
- the act of the defendant that directly and intentionally causes complete restriction of the claimant's liberty without lawful justification
Collins v Willcock
Must be direct and intentional. Has to be an intention to restrain
R v Governor v Brockhill Prison ex p Evans (no 2) 
. This was confirmed in
Iqbal v Prison Officers Association 
which also made it clear that subjective recklessness will suffice i.e. the defendant knows that restrain is a likely consequence of his actions but goes ahead nonetheless.
Complete restriction - have to show that claimant's liberty has been restricted and that they are being confined or constrained within limits imposed by another. Not sufficient to show that they have been inconvenienced or restricted in one direction only.
bird v Jones 
claimant was prevented from walking on part of a bridge. he was not falsley imprisoned and he was free to take alternative route. If a C is confined then they will be imprisoned unless there is a reasonable means by which they can exit or gain freedom. Not expected to take dangerous or unusual methods of exit
Not necessary for there to be mental awareness by the C of their plight.
Meering v Grahame-White AVaition (1919)
C was asked to go to his boss's office. He waited their happily without realisting that his colleagues were outside of the office door with instructions to not let the C leave as he was suspected of theft. Despite being unaware, the court held that he had been falsley imprisoned. Approved in
Murray v Ministry of Defence 
No need for any force; words can be enough such as 'stay here otherwise I will kill you'
Davidson v Chief Constable of North Wales 
false - the confinement must be demonstrated to be without lawful justification. Must be justification if the imprisonment was due to claimant failing to comply with a contractual condition.
Robinson v Balmain New Ferry 
the Claimant was paid 1p to cross river by ferry. At entrance was a sign stating that penny was payable at the terminal to cross the river and again after a return journey. Claimant passed through the turnstile and then having missed the ferry he sought to exit. He refused to pay so turnstile operator refused to let him leave. No imprisonment here.
Herd v Weardale Steel
- a miner refused to continue working his nine-hour shift and demanded to be brought to the surface. Ds refused. NO FI as he accepted to conditions of going down the mine.
self-defence can be pleased if they have used reasonable forcce in self-protection or to protect another person or property
Lane v Holloway 
Force must also be proportionate
Cockroft v SMith .
Cs act of trying to poke out Ds eye did not justify the D biting off the Cs finger in response
Consent - express vs implied consent.
implied - e.g. getting ona busy tube at Christmas
Nash v Sheen 
May negate a battery - medical treatment
Chatterton v Gerson 
R v Brown 
held that if ABH was suffered then it is immaterial that there was consent
Necessity - rarely used but succeeded in
Re A (children) (conjoined twins: Medical Treatment) 
court confirmed that the defence could be used to 'avoid inevitable and irreparable evil'. In this case, the evil was death of the healty twin
Wilkinson v Downton
- D told C as a joke that her husband had been badly injured in an accident. The C suffered nervous shock and D was held liable.
Liability can also arise where a D deliberately acts or makes a statement which is calculated to cause physical harm to the C and which does in fact achieve the result
Janvier v Sweeney 
Khorasandijan v Bush 
- harassing phone calls.
Wong v PArkside HEalth NHS Trust 
Wainright v Home Office 
- made clear that C must prove D intended to cause physical or severe emotional harm or mental distress.
Rhodes v OPO 
recklessness was not sufficient. D must have intended to cause physical harm or severe emotional and mental distress.