Under section 59 of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW), it is an offence to assault any person and inflict actual bodily harm. Actual bodily harm can be minor and can include bruising, scratches or cuts. It does not have to be permanent but must be more than “merely transient and trifling”: R v Donovan (1938) KB 498.
The prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that:
- There was an assault; and
- The assault caused actual bodily harm.
If the prosecution fail to prove, beyond reasonable doubt, the above factors then you will be found not guilty of the offence.
However, if the above factors are proven beyond reasonable doubt, the charge can be defeated and you will be found not guilty if any of the following defenses can be established:
If your defence fails and you are found guilty of the offence, you will be liable for 5 years imprisonment. In circumstances where the offence is committed in the company of another person(s), the imprisonment term extends to 7 years.
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