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Grievous bodily harm indicates that the injury must be serious

The legal definition of grievous bodily harm indicates that the injury must be serious, it must involve pain and suffering on the part of the victim, it may cause disfigurement; and it may be temporary or permanent in duration. Grievous bodily harm necessarily interferes with the health and with the bodily comfort of the victim.

In other definitions, grievous bodily harm must also incapacitate the victim from pursuing his usual work or activities of daily living. The longer the time that it takes for the victim to recover and heal the more serious and the graver the injury is. There is also the requirement that the grievous bodily injury be the proximate effect of the overt physical acts of the accused.

Thus, in the case where the accused shoved and pushed the victim such that he fell down a flight of stairs, hit his head and sustained a concussion, it may be said that the injury or harm (the concussion) was directly caused by the act of the accused (pushing and shoving). This is an area where a possible defence may crop up for if the injury sustained were not proximately related to the injury or harm sustained by the victim, then the accused may not be liable for aggravated result.

Using the same example cited above: the accused pushed and shoved the victim who fell down a flight of stairs and hit his head. If the victim then stood up, walked to the street and was then run over by a speeding cab, the grievous bodily injury sustained by the victim from being run over by a cab is not entirely attributable to the physical act of the accused. The act of the accused was not the proximate cause of the injury sustained by the victim. There is a supervening cause (being hit by a cab).

The specific facts of each individual case must be analysed to determine if any defences as to evidentiary facts may be raised successfully by the accused. For this, the expert opinion of a criminal lawyer is necessary.

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Disclaimer : This article is just a summary of the subject matter being discussed and should not be regarded as a comprehensive legal advice for you to defend yourself alone. If you are charged with criminal offences, it is recommended that you seek legal assistance from criminal lawyers.

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