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There will be two legal processes rather than one even though it was a single offence. The first act that you have committed which falls under the criminal section is that you punched Jason in the face, knocking him over and fracturing his skull. This is after you had found out that your girlfriend was having an affair with him. This offence will be the Criminal charge of Grievous Bodily Harm it is a criminal offence to cause harm upon somebody else. As you caused Ashley to receive serious medical attention it will be classed as Grievous Bodily Harm. You will may be prosecuted under the Section 18 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861.
It Is also a civil matter as Jason has the right not to be harmed in anyway by any other person. Therefore, the same event will constitute as a civil tort of Battery as the following were present: The intentional touching of, or force to, the body of another person in a harmful or offensive manner, and without the victim’s consent.
Firstly, I will start with the Criminal side of the Process. All cases will begin in the Magistrates court. The seriousness of your offence will mean that you will then be tried in the Crown Court. This is where “indictable” offences will be heard. Indictable offences are those that are more complicated and much more serious. The seriousness of the offence can lead to a long-term imprisonment. In the Crown Court there are multiple classes of seriousness. Class 1, Class2 and Class 3. Grievous Bodily Harm comes under class three which is tried by a circuit judge or recorder. A jury will also hear your trail and they will decide whether you are guilty or not guilty. Depending on what the jury says if they find you guilty they will decide which sentence will be appropriate.
If you are found guilty of GBH under Section 18 of the Offences Against the Persons act 1861 the sentence would be life imprisonment, however normally the courts give 3 to 16 years depending on the circumstances or any aggravating factors.
If you are found guilty before the judge can decide on the sentence you get, they will look at factors called aggravating factors and mitigating factors. Prosecutors may put forward many aggravating factors. Aggravating factors are factors that might lengthen your sentence. These can include repeat offenses; vulnerability of the victim; offence was racially or religiously aggravated and many more. Mitigating factors are something that might lesson your sentence, these include genuine remorse, lack of a prior criminal record, past circumstances or mental or physical illness. The Aggravating factors in your case is the fact that you have cause physical harm to Ashley in which he had to receive medical attention for. This means the judge may make your sentence lengthier, however the mitigating factor involved is that this is your first and only offence, therefore you are not known for doing something so serious. You were also provoked by Jason as you both were arguing about his girlfriend. This could cause your sentence to only be a couple of years.
Secondly, the civil process for your case of Battery can be started off by Jason proving that you have caused him to suffer a loss or injury due to your negligence. Once Jason has filled out the correct details and have handed them into the court you will be sent a sealed copy of the documents in which contain all the proceedings in court that will be issued. Cases that are civil are mainly dealt in the County Courts however my colleagues in the litigation department have told me that Jason’s claim amounts to £25,000, this means that Jason’s’ case would be allocated to fast track. There will be numerous dates in which will sort out all the information that will appear in court. These are called directions. This is needed before the trial, so they have all the correct information, meaning the trail will be quick and efficient. You can decide whether you represent yourself or have a solicitor. A judge normally hears the case and will decide if you are liable or not liable. If you are liable they will then identify the relevant remedy. Judges play an active role in handling civil cases. Judges ensure that they proceed with the case and quickly as possible.
Civil judges do not have the power to punish people e.g. going to prison, however, they do decide whether the claimant is entitled to damages. In your case, if the judge believe that you are held liable then you will be ordered to pay the £25,000 damages to Jason. If you are also found guilty of Grievous Bodily Harm you will also be required to go to prison as well as pay damages. If you don’t win and are ordering to pay damages it also means that you have to pay the claimants court fees also.
Ashley, you do not have any legal claims against Jason’s for having an affair with your girlfriend as adultery is not illegal. However, as I have stated above, because he has provoked you this constitutes as a mitigating factor and therefore could help your sentence be reduced.
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