Thursday, 2 June 2016

R v Ms K

A report of a recent case handled by Wainwright & Cummins barrister partner, Rod Jones.

Ms K was charged with causing GBH with intent (OAPA 1861 s18). She was accused of throwing boiling water over the head of her boyfriend (Mr B). He said he awoke with a burning sensation and ran from the house in extreme pain – the photographs did bear witness to extensive cranial exfoliation. Ms K also ran from the house and called the police to escort her back, reporting accidentally spilling the liquid over her boyfriend who was manhandling her to have sex which she did not want. It was a grim end to Ms K’s birthday.

Both complainant and defendant stuck to their stories throughout. Mr B did acknowledge he had raised the issue of arranging to take another woman to Jamaica but this had not upset Ms K. Ms K freely admitted she was angered by that news, its timing and more so by his subsequent demands for sex but she had simply made coffee for the pair and spilled it.

The judge refused an application of “No case to answer” – grounded on the inability of the prosecution to refute accident. An alternative count of inflicting GBH (OAPA 1861 s20) was added to the indictment to cover any jury uncertainty about intent. The judge also directed the jury fully on self-defence to cover any uncertainty the jury may have had as to where the truth really did lie.

The jury acquitted in less than an hour.

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