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Causing Grievous Bodily Harm

Even a single punch can cause grievous bodily harm, and being charged with that offence is very serious indeed. The attached statistics demonstrate that actual imprisonment is by far the most likely penalty, with 88% of those convicted of it receiving full time prison.

From the case of The Queen v Brand - the appropriate sentence for the offence of GBH will vary significantly and relevant factors will include the nature of the injuries sustained, the age of the offender, the criminal history of the offender, whether or not a weapon was used, whether the offence was established by one blow or whether there was a sustained attack on the complainant.

In the matter of Etwell the victim had suffered a sustained attack with 5 or 6 blows delivered, and his injuries had continuing consequences for him, and the victim was a much older man that Mr Etwell. In the end, the careful psychological evaluation, coupled with the structure of the compensation offered led the sentencing court to the conclusion that on this rare occasion, a penalty that doesn' t include actual imprisonment was appropriate.

The Queen v Duncan John Etwell

For McMillan Criminal Law this case was a precedent for psychological approach we take in preparing for sentence in matters like this, and the way that structured compensation can produce a discount on sentence rather then being seen as an attempt to "buy" your way out of an appropriate sentence.

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