Body modification, such as the removal of an ear or nipple, or tongue splitting, performed on a consenting adult by a practitioner with no medical training or qualification, could not form an exception to the general rule in R. v Brown (Anthony Joseph)  1 A.C. 212 that consent was no defence to causing actual bodily harm or wounding. Even if Parliament or the Supreme Court revisited the general rule and adifferent line was drawn to allow consent to act as a defence to causing actual bodily harm and wounding, body modification caused really serious harm.
GRIEVOUS BODILY HARM
A sentence of nine years’ imprisonment was appropriate in the case of an offender who had been convicted of causing grievous bodily harm with intent after carrying out a sustained assault on his tenant.
When sentencing an offender for burglary, the recorder had been entitled to take into account the offender’s intention to commit grievous bodily harm by breaking into his former girlfriend’s home and attacking her new boyfriend. The fact that the offender was charged under the Theft Act 1968 s.9(1)(b), and was not charged with grievous bodily harm or with an offence under s.9(1)(a), did not preclude the recorder from taking the full facts into account.
The appropriate sentence where an offender who had attacked police officers with a hammer had pleaded guilty to two counts of attempting to cause grievous bodily harm with intent, was life imprisonment with a minimum term of three years, taking into account the offender’ guilty plea, the early release provisions, and the time that he had already spent in custody.
Where four men had attacked another man by punching him and stamping on him, convictions against two of them for causing grievous bodily harm with intent under the Offences Against the Person Act 1861 s.18 were quashed and substituted with convictions for causing grievous bodily harm under s.20, as medical evidence not adduced until after trial strongly suggested that a blow from one of the others had caused the victim’s brain injury. The further evidence was demonstrably credible, it had been positively agreed and was highly relevant.