Legislation: Offences Against the Person Act 1861 s 18
Definition: This offence is committed when a person unlawfully and maliciously, with intent to do some grievous bodily harm, or with intent to resist or prevent the lawful apprehension or detainer of any other person, either:
- wounds another person; or
- causes grievous bodily harm to another person.
Explanation: The distinction between charges under section 18 and section 20 is one of intent. The gravity of the injury resulting is not the determining factor, although it may provide some evidence of intent.
For the definition of wounding and grievous bodily harm, see the section 20 section above.
Mode of trial: Indictment only (Crown Court)
Maximum sentence: Life imprisonment
CPS guidance: Factors that may indicate the specific intent include:
- a repeated or planned attack;
- deliberate selection of a weapon or adaptation of an article to cause injury, such as breaking a glass before an attack;
- making prior threats;
- using an offensive weapon against, or kicking the victim’s head.