R v Chan Fook

399 words (2 pages) Case Summary in Cases

07/03/18 Cases Reference this In-house law team

Jurisdiction(s): United Kingdom

Disclaimer: This work is intended for educational use only, it does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon to advise clients on legal matters.

If you would like to view other samples of the academic work produced by our writers, please click here.

R v Chan Fook [1994] 1 WLR 689

S.47, Offences Against the Person Act 1861 – Actual Bodily Harm – Psychological Harm


The appellant, Mr Chan-Fook, had accused the victim, a lodger, of the theft of his fiancé’s engagement ring. The appellant, after striking the victim several times, locked him in a second-floor bedroom. The victim tried to escape and suffered quite serious injuries. The appellant was convicted under s.47 OAPA of assault occasioning actual bodily harm. Curiously, however, the harm identified by the prosecution was the psychological suffering of the victim, rather than his physical injuries, although no medical evidence was produced. The trial judge directed the jury that an assault which induced a ‘nervous and hysterical’ reaction in the victim would amount to actual bodily harm. Mr Chan-Fook was convicted on this basis and leave given to appeal.


The principal issue on appeal was whether psychiatric harm could, in principle, amount to ABH for the purposes of s.47 OAPA. The Court of Appeal were also required to consider whether expert psychiatric evidence would be a necessary requirement in such cases, as well as the general meaning of actual bodily harm, which had heretofore been understood as encompassing “any hurt or injury calculated to interfere with the health or comfort of the victim”.


In upholding the appeal, the CA confirmed that, whilst ABH could embrace recognised psychiatric harm:

“[I]t does not include mere emotions such as fear or distress nor panic nor does it include, as such, states of mind that are not themselves evidence of some identifiable clinical condition”.

Moreover, in the absence of expert medical evidence (or a concession from the defence), the question of whether an assault occasioned actual bodily harm should not be put to a jury.

The CA also confirmed that the phrase ‘actual bodily harm’ is to be given its ‘ordinary meaning’ but that the word harm implied an ‘injury’ of some sort, which need not be permanent but which:

 [M]ust not be so trivial as to be wholly insignificant” ()

This judgement therefore implies a de minimis threshold to the notion of actual bodily harm.

Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.

Related Services

View all

DMCA / Removal Request

If you are the original writer of this essay and no longer wish to have the essay published on the UK Essays website then please:

Предлагаем вам со скидкой купить диплом о высшем образовании у нашего менеджера.
У нашей организации авторитетный портал со статьями про купить аккумулятор TAB https://220km.com