These two offences are covered by sections 18 and 20 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861 (the Act) with the section 18 offence being the more serious.

Whilst the appearance of the two offences is, in many ways, similar, the distinguishing element is the extent to which ‘intention’ was present at the time of the offence.

The Offences | Kangs Serious Crime Solicitors

Section 18

  • There must be proof of intent to cause serious bodily harm
  • Intent may be deduced from, for example, repeated attacks, a planned attack or choice of weapon
  • Recklessness is insufficient

Section 20

  • The Prosecution do not have to prove intention to cause a serious injury.
  • It is sufficient for the defendant simply to foresee the risk of injury.
  • The lack of intent may be evidenced by, for example, the nature of the assault and the behaviour of the defendant at that time and afterwards.

Sentencing | Kangs Criminal Sentencing Advisory Solicitors

Section 18

  • The offence can only be tried in a Crown Court
  • Because of the seriousness of the offence, conviction may result in life imprisonment.
  • The Sentencing Guidelines suggest a range from three years for less serious offences up to sixteen years for the most serious.
  • Aggravating features which will be taken into consideration include the use of a weapon, head butting and kicking.

Section 20

  • The offence may be tried in either a Magistrates’ Court or a Crown Court.
  • As the lesser of the two offences conviction attracts a maximum sentence of  five years imprisonment.
  • The Sentencing Guidelines range from a Community Order to four years imprisonment.

How Can We Help? | Kangs Offences Against The Person Defence Team

At Kangs Solicitors we have a team experienced in defending clients facing criminal charges of all nature throughout the country on a daily basis.

With any criminal allegation it is essential that legal guidance is sought at the earliest possible opportunity.

If we can be of assistance, please do not hesitate to contact our team through any of the following:

Suki Randhawa
0121 449 9888 | 020 7936 6396

Aman Murria
020 7936 6396 | 0121 449 9888