Section 18 GBH assault is the more serious of the two offences as there must be proof that the defendant had full intention to cause serious bodily harm. This differs from the section 20 assault, where the defendant only has to foresee the risk of some injury.
Section 18 of the Offences against the Person Act 1861
Section 18 GBH is the most serious form of assault and is also known as “wounding with intent”. It differs from section 20 in the sense that there must be proof the defendant intended to cause serious harm to the victim. An example of this would be if the defendant left their house in possession of a sharp knife and went straight to the victim’s house and proceeded to stab the victim.
For section 18 assault, recklessness isn’t enough – there must be proof of intention. This may be identified by planned or repeated attacks, prior threats, choosing a particular weapon deliberately or mutilating an object to use it as a weapon.
Section 18 GBH carries a maximum sentence of 10 years imprisonment as opposed to the 5 years’ maximum sentence of section 20 GBH. It can often be hard for the prosecution to prove to the Crown Court that the defendant intended to cause serious harm to the victim. This is why it’s incredibly important that you have a strong case for defence to get the best possible outcome.
If you require legal advice/representation for GBH offences then contact one of our friendly team today by using our contact form above or by calling 01254 505090.
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