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Flashcards in Trespass to Person Deck (26):

Explain trespass to the person

Tress pass to the person is actionable per se (C does not need to prove damage)

Has to be a direct and physical, intentional act (not omission)

Can comprise of:

- Battery
- False imprisonment
- Assault


Battery, define

Requires force and physical contact

Result from anger

The least touching of another in anger is a battery. Not an unwanted kiss
Cole v Turner (1704)


Wilson v Pringle (1987) & Re F (1989)

It is a battery to touch a person in a way which is not acceptable in the ordinary conduct of daily life, or to do something to which can reasonably object.


Assault, define

An act which causes C to reasonably apprehend the immediate infliction of a battery on him by D


Wilson (1955)

Words alone are not sufficient, but threatening words combined with gestures can be an assault


Ireland; Burstow (1997)

Silent phone calls carried sufficient threat to constitute an assault for the purposes of criminal law


Stephens v Myers (1830)

Assault does not require contact, but there must be some reasonable means by which the treat can be carried out.


Letang v Cooper (1965)

As a general rule, D must act intentionally. A merely negligent act must be pleaded in negligence and the burden proving intention or negligence resets with the C


‘Gillick competent’

Gillick v West Norfolk and Wisbech Area Health Authority (1986)

Defence - Consent

An adult of sound mind can refuse medical treatment

older children will be considered gillick competent. They have sufficient understanding of the issue to make their own decision.

An adult who signs a consent form cannot then claim damages


Rigby v Chief Constable of Northamptonshire (1985)

Necessity - a doctor is able to operate on a person who is unable to give consent if they feel it is in their best interests


Lane v Holloway (1968)

Self- Defence - reasonable force may be used to repel a possible trespass to the person. The force must be proportionate to the threat.


False imprisonment, define

It is an intentional restraint of C’s liberty of movement by D without lawful justification.


Bird v Jones (1845)

The restraint must be total, if the C has a reasonable alternative opportunity of movement, there is no false imprisonment


Meering v Graham White Aviation (1919)

There is still a false imprisonment if the C is unaware of restraint, however the damages awarded will be nominal.


Christie v Leachinsky (1947)

A C must be informed properly of the reasons for arrest


Lewis v Tims (1952)

If a citizens arrest is being carried out, the person must be handed over to the police within a reasonable time, 20 minutes is reported.


24A Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 & s110 Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005

Lawful arrest - means that the detaining is not unlawful and therefore false.


Wilkinson v Downton (1897)

If a D intentionally and without justification causes psychiatric harm to the C, he is liable, whether or not his actions can be classed as trespass


Rhodes v OPO (2015)

Supreme Court held that a tort is committed when D, without justification undertakes conduct that can cause illness to C, and has the intention of causing at least severe distress to C

See Wilkinson v Downton (1897) - this case reaffirms it.


Herring v Boyle (1834)

A Claimant is required to be aware of his/her unlawful confinement to sustain an action in false imprisonment.


Murray v MOD (1988)

Court of Appeal: Lord Griffiths states that no knowledge of the unlawful confinement is required due to overriding importance of the right to liberty.


S.24A Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984

Lawful excuse to detain a person in arresting them without a warrant


S.24(1)(a) Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984

Arrest and detain someone who has committed an indictable offence. This prevents them from making off before police arrive and make the arrest instead.


Cole v Turner (1704)

The ‘least touching of another in ‘anger’ was actionable in trespass to the person.

i.e. if someone was tapped gently on the nose, but this action was carried out with anger then this constitutes trespass to the person.


F v West Berkshire Health Authority (1989)

Following Cole v Turner (contact with anger) and Wilson v Pringle (contact with hostility) - it seems that the requirement to prove contact now means nothing more than acting without lawful justification.


Livingstone v MOD (1984) and the Doctrine of transferred intention

A person need only have intended to make contact with someone. It does not matter that their intended victim was not his actual victim.

A person will have no defence if they swing a punch, intended for x, when instead they hit y, because x ducked the punch.