Assault occasioning actual bodily harm (ABH)

It is an offence for someone to assault any person occasioning him/her actual body harm.

Bodily harm has its ordinary meaning and has been defined as “any hurt which interferes with health or comfort but not to a considerable degree”. That said, it must be more than transient or trifling.

Defences to assault

Typical defences to assault include:

  • It was an accident (as long as no malice was present);
  • Consent (providing the activity is not illegal itself) or an honestly belief that consent has been given;
  • Lawful sport;
  • Lawful correction; and
  • Self defence;