In this lesson we are going to learn about assault
Assault is a reasonable apprehension in mind of the plaintiff of the infliction of battery on him by the defendant.
Pointing even unloaded Pistol to at another may be an assault.
Elements of assault:
- there was threat to apply force
- the act will put reasonable person in fear of battery
In Innes vs Wylie, a policeman unlawfully prevented the plaintiff from entering into the club premises. It was held that the policeman was entirely passive motionless like a door or wall to prevent from entering the room. There was no assault.
If a person advances in a threatening manner to use force there is an assault.
In Stephens vs Myers, the Plaintiff was the Chairman at the Church meeting, defendant also sat on same table. In course of some angry discussion, the defendant advanced toward a Chairman with the clenched fist saying that he will pull the Chairman out of the chair. But he was stopped by the Churchwarden. Here the defendant was liable for assault.
Generally assault precedes battery. Showing a clenched fist is assault but actually striking amounts to battery. Throwing water on a person is assault but as soon as water falls on him, it becomes battery. It is however not essential that every battery must include assault. A blow from behind without prior knowledge of a person amounts to battery without being preceded by assault.