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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 70279
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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As of today I have been charged with section 39 common

Customer Question

As of today I have been charged with section 39 common assault by beating. I was told by the police intially that they would not presue the matter as there was a bigger incident outside the venue where I was drinking which I was not involved in but apparently linked.
It's on CCTV however the person I have assaulted provoked via mouth I stepped towards asked him as it was loud what was the problem he looked aggressive so I pushed my head against his to create a gap to manoeuvre he fell back and l stopped there with no further aggression I only did this as I had a glass in my hand, otherwise I would of pushed him.
Just wondering what the outcome would be as I'm planning to plead not guilty and this is the first time I've ever been arrested.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: UK Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

Are you asking what the sentence would be?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
if found guilty, however I believe not to be could this go to crown court?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

No, this is a common assault. It is summary only and so can only be tried at the Magistrates Court. I'm not sure what the assault is? If the issue is that they are saying only that you struck him in the chest using your head once then you seem to accept that?

What is your defence?

Do you have any relevant previous?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It was a clash of heads. I had my hands full and felt there was no other alternative. It wasn't meant to wound (which it did not)but to move him away There was no way to move out of the way, he was aggressive after the person he was with was assaulted by someone else who I was not in company with. I have no previous record.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

That is a problem.

Did he have any injuries?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No it was just forceful enough to push back. No injuries was sustained and when questioned did not mention this to the police.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

You can always defend on this basis. Essentially it amounts to preemptive strike self defence. Whether it would succeed or not is another matter. Self defence, or the prevention of crime generally, is a very narrow defence and whenever you can walk away rather than use violence it tends to be unavailable. The trouble is that it is just not really a placating gesture to use your head to push him away. I imagine they are saying it amounts to blow with your head even if it can't quite be a headbutt and the case of Rigg says that a head can be a weapon which is an aggravating feature.

That said, although it is aggravated by public violence, use of weapon etc it is a first offence and he has no injuries. He might not give evidence anyway although I suppose they could rely on CCTV.

I would expect a low level community order. If you have no relevant issues then I would expect a curfew given the nature of the offence or unpaid work. You might be lucky and escape with a fine but I wouldn't rely on it. There will also be costs of roughly £400-£600 if you are convicted after a trial, a court charge and the victim surcharge.

Can I clarify anything for you?