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Offence of assault in the Kenyan context

Published in: Law
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  1. 1.  WHAT IS ASSAULT? - In common law, assault is the act of creating apprehension of an imminent harmful or offensive contact with a person. - It is the intentional application of force to the person of another directly or indirectly.
  2. 2.  It is an offence created and is divided into various categories that are found in the Penal Code in section 250- 253  The difference between assault and battery is: - battery is committed where force is applied on the complainant, whereas, assault is where battery is actually threatened.
  3. 3.  Exceptions to Assault (what cannot be termed as - assault) 1. Mere words do not amount to assault Rex v Peter Mburungu [1947] 22(2) KRL 62 – they are only relevant where they accompany an act indicating an intention to use force against another. Opar v republic - the appellent tried to cut the complainant with a panga and was convicted of threatening to injure; however, on appeal it was held that the offence was not proved. It was held that the facts established the offence of common assault. Rex v Gaturo s/o Njau – there must be some threatening act: pointing of a gun, aiming with an arrow on the bow, picking a stone to throw at the complainant e.t.c
  4. 4. Defences  Provocation is not a defence, unless it is it is not unlawful Menezes v Republic [1975] EA 209 – where the appellant mistakenly believed that the complainant, with whom they had had an altercation, was assaulting him with a knife. It was held that it is reasonable for an unarmed person to knock down an attacker with a knife.  Mark Mwithaga v Republic