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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 70512
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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Someone I know has been charged with a section 20 Gbh

Customer Question

Hello Alice
Someone I know has been charged with a section 20 Gbh unlawful wounding, he has a plea hearing coming up soon and is planning on pleading guilty, the problem I have with this is the description of wounding. What dose continuity of the whole skin mean? And would a scratch be sufficient?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: UK Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.

Hello, what was the wound that was inflicted?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The wound was caused by a tip of a knife through a door, barely a injury and no suffering. The victim has said he doesn't agree with prosecution, and the paramedic said that it hadn't gone through the epidermis.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
How long is your response time please
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.

If the allegation involves the use of a knife then that would amount to a wound although if it is just a scratch then they probably will prefer other charges. The phrase continuity of the whole skin comes from a case called Eisenhower which defines a wound as anything which breaks the skin.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.

That case considered internal injuries and decided they were not a wound. the most common form of a wound is a puncture to the skin.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.

That case does make clear that a scratch is not a wound.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Basically I have researched a little and I don't understand why,as no grevious harm was caused the charges are not ABH or common assault? My friend is contemplating pleading guilty but seeing as the victims statement clearly says he disagrees with the charges due to the character of the defendant and the fact said victim was fine,didn't visit hospital and worked the next day.i don't feel he should plead guilty as the charges don't fit the actions. Also is innebriation an aggravating factor? And the presence of the defendants children, thanks
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.

Because they are alleging a wound within the meaning of S20.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.

They might well accept a lesser plea.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.

Presence of children is an aggravating feature as is drunkenness although the former is more important.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
he could plea to change the charges?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Because the criteria for s20 seem irrelevant to the facts of the case. He is pleading guilty out of fear of a harsher sentence if found guilty. He does not deny the actions just doesn't see it as serious as Gbh
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.

No but the problem is the use of the knife. Unless it is a superficial scratch it is a wound.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
If there is no photographic evidence only a paramedic report describing it as a scratch can they seem it a wound? A guilty plea at this stage is likely to result in what sort of sentence? Thanks for your help by the way
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.

Yes, it can be a wound on the evidence of a paramedic. In fact, that is more credible than any other evidence. They will have taken photographs though.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No photographs was taken
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.

ok.