Causing Serious Harm in UK Law

Leading Cases
  • R v Nicholas Smith
    • Supreme Court
    • 20 Jul 2011

    We do not consider that section 225(1)(b) requires such an exercise. Rather it is implicit that the question posed by section 225(1)(b) must be answered on the premise that the defendant is at large. It is at the moment that he imposes the sentence that the judge must decide whether, on that premise, the defendant poses a significant risk of causing serious harm to members of the public.

  • R v Lang
    • Court of Appeal
    • 03 Nov 2005

    (ii) In assessing the risk of further offences being committed, the sentencer should take into account the nature and circumstances of the current offence; the offender's history of offending including not just the kind of offence but its circumstances and the sentence passed, details of which the prosecution must have available, and, whether the offending demonstrates any pattern; social and economic factors in relation to the offender including accommodation, employability, education, associates, relationships and drug or alcohol abuse; and the offender's thinking, attitude towards offending and supervision and emotional state.

    (iii) If the foreseen specified offence is serious, there will clearly be some cases, though not by any means all, in which there may be a significant risk of serious harm. But it can be committed in a wide variety of ways many of which do not give rise to a significant risk of serious harm. Sentencers must therefore guard against assuming there is a significant risk of serious harm merely because the foreseen specified offence is serious.

    The huge variety of offences in Schedule 15, includes many which, in themselves, are not suggestive of serious harm. Repetitive violent or sexual offending at a relatively low level without serious harm does not of itself give rise to a significant risk of serious harm in the future. There may, in such cases, be some risk of future victims being more adversely affected than past victims but this, of itself, does not give rise to significant risk of serious harm.

  • R v Jogee
    • Supreme Court
    • 18 Feb 2016

    If a person is a party to a violent attack on another, without an intent to assist in the causing of death or really serious harm, but the violence escalates and results in death, he will be not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter.

    What matters is whether D2 encouraged or assisted the crime, whether it be murder or some other offence. He need not encourage or assist a particular way of committing it, although he may sometimes do so. Knowledge or ignorance that weapons generally, or a particular weapon, is carried by D1 will be evidence going to what the intention of D2 was, and may be irresistible evidence one way or the other, but it is evidence and no more.

  • R (on the application of Yasir Mahmood) v Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber)
    • Court of Appeal
    • 05 Jun 2020

    However, the issue under s.117D(2)(c)(ii) is whether the offender has been convicted of ‘an offence’ which has caused serious harm. These offences usually result in a prison sentence because identity fraud is regarded as a serious matter; but that cannot, of itself, be enough to satisfy the requirement of causingserious harm’.

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