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Romeo and Juliet are lovers. Romeo discover he has aids(a potentially fatal disease capable of being transmitted by sexual intercourse). He decides to break off the relationship with Juliet out of love for her, not wishing to communicate the disease or admit to his condition. When he tells Juliet, first she becomes angry and then she despairs. She begs that they have sexual intercourse telling him that it will be a sign that he still loves her. Reluctantly he agrees, convincing himself that this will be the last time and that no harm will come of it. Six months later Juliet is found to have contracted the disease.

Discuss Romeo’s possible liability under each of the following sections of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861
a) S.47
b) S.20
c) S.18

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Undergraduate Law - Criminal Law
Question
Romeo and Juliet are lovers. Romeo discover he has aids (a potentially fatal disease capable of being transmitted by sexual intercourse). He decides to break off the relationship with Juliet out of love for her, not wishing to communicate the disease or admit to his condition. When he tells Juliet, first she becomes angry and then she despairs. She begs that they have sexual intercourse telling him that it will be a sign that he still loves her. Reluctantly he agrees, convincing himself that this will be the last time and that no harm will come of it. Six months later Juliet is found to have contracted the disease. Discuss Romeo’s possible liability under each of the following sections of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861
a) S.47
b) S.20
c) S.18

Answer

a. LIABILITY UNDER SECTION 47

The offence of actual bodily harm is set out in S.47 Offences Against the Person Act 1861, which provides that it is an offence to commit an assault occasioning actual bodily harm. Whilst the statute only refers to assault, the offence may also be committed by a battery. In fact it is far more common for offences under s.47 to be committed by battery rather than by an assault. Actual bodily harm is a triable-either-way offence. The maximum sentence for Actual Bodily Harm is 5 years imprisonment.
Section 47 Assault of the Offences against the Person Act is Actual Bodily Harm. Actual Bodily Harm Section 47 offences are more serious than common assault charges but less severe than Grievous Bodily Harm offences. Understanding the difference between the various sections which compile the statute, Offences against the Person Act 1861 is paramount for anyone accused of one of the offences covered....
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