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Fowler v LanningA guy was shot in a hunting party. The plaintiff simply said the defendant shot him. The issue was if it constituted battery, that is to say, unlawful contact with the person. The plaintiff argued that all he had to prove was that his gun went off and hit him. He argued that he didn’t have to show if he intended to set off the gun or that he was negligent in his use of the gun.Court: No, you either have to bring a negligence action or show that he intentionally fired the gun (not intended to harm, just fire the gun). Therefore, you do need to show this element of intention.*Letang v Cooper
Someone was sunbathing in a hotel car park and somebody drove a car over their legs. The complication was that the statute of limitations came. You get more time to bring a trespass or battery action than you do for a negligence action. They tried to argue that in these circumstances, there was intention to physically harm the person so that they could bring an action in battery.Court: No. You need to make a distinction. It’s either an intentional infliction of harm or a negligence infliction of harm. In English law, there is no tort of harm to a person.*StubbingsYou don’t need damage but you NEED an intention to perform the act.AssaultAssault is when you are put in reasonable fear of an immediate and unlawful touching or interference of your person.In a meeting, somebody charged a chairman. It was obvious that he would never physically harm the chairman because half the room stopped him. However, the issue was whether the chairman have a reasonable fear in the circumstance. So there could be a situation where there was no way you were going to be harmed but you could have a reasonable fear of it occurring.R v IrelandCriminal case concerning harassment over the phone. No battery happened but it was an assault because the woman had been put in reasonable fear of a more or less immediate attack. It turned out that the person on the phone was miles away and wasn’t in the close vicinity. Therefore, the test was whether it was reasonable for her to have a fear of receiving an immediate battery.However, words can negate an assault. Like ‘put your hands on your sword.’Thomas v MUNRead v CrockerRolling up your sleeves in a suggestive and offensive manner may constitute assault.BatteryThere could be lots of circumstances where Wilson v PringleThis case concernes some kids messing around in school. The court suggested you needed some element of hostility before normal horseplay could become battery.