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M211 Law And Criminal Justice

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  • Course Code: M211
  • University: De Montfort University

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  • Country: United Kingdom


Anita and Billy have been in a relationship for twelve years. They are deeply in love with each other and began living together one year into their relationship. They own a house together and have a joint mortgage. They also have other shared financial commitments. They go with each other on holiday at least three times a year and buy each other very expensive gifts all the time. All of their friends see how deeply they love each other.

They also have a very happy love life that consists of inflicting pain on each other for sexual gratification. This involves slapping, pinching and pulling each other’s hair. This began early on in their relationship. They get a lot of sexual pleasure out of this. They often do this to each other whenever they are walking around their home. However, it is intensified when they are having sex.

One day, whilst Anita and Billy are together in the bedroom, Billy grabs Anita’s long hair and starts pulling it forcefully. Anita shouts ‘more’ and Billy starts pulling her hair even harder. Anita’s head is pulled back and forth and after a while she tells Billy to stop because she feels dizzy. He stops pulling her hair immediately and gently strokes her face. Anita smiles back at Billy and says she needs a glass of water. She asks Billy if he would like one too and Billy says yes. Anita starts walking downstairs towards the kitchen. Whilst she is walking down the stairs, she feels light-headed and misses a step. She falls slowly down the staircase. She hits her head on the final step and suffers some minor bruising around her forehead. Billy, who hears the loud fall, jumps out of bed straight away and runs downstairs. He shouts ‘darling, are you ok?’ Anita looks up at Billy and says ‘don't worry about me, dear. I am ok.’ Billy holds Anita for a while and then gets a damp cloth for her forehead. He kisses her forehead gently and calls an ambulance.

The ambulance arrives an hour later. Chris, who is a paramedic, takes one look at Anita and is shocked by her state. He asks Billy what happened and Billy tells him that he was ‘extremely rough’ during sex and, afterwards, Anita felt bad and fell down the stairs. Chris then calls the police. The police arrive and Billy tells PC David that he and Anita are not married, however, both of them love each other and enjoy having ‘very aggressive sex’. Anita agrees with Billy. However, PC David replies, ‘I don't care if she does like it, mate. You can’t do that.’

Billy is taken to the police station, whilst Anita goes to the hospital for her bruising. She is in a fully conscious state and talking normally. The paramedics check her in to the emergency ward, writing in her medical notes that she ‘fell down the stairs and bumped her head.’ They assume that the doctors will know to check her for bleeding around the brain as this is normal, important medical procedure for a head injury. However, one of the duty doctors, Dr Edwards, looks at Anita’s notes in a hurry and does not see the word ‘bumped’. As such, Anita is left in a room on her own for several hours. During this time, blood starts building up around her brain and she suddenly collapses to the floor. She is operated on to reduce the very bad bleeding and swelling and is in a coma for ten months.  

Billy is charged with causing Anita grievous bodily harm contrary to section 18 of the Offences against the Person Act 1861 (OAPA). He appears at Nicetown Crown Court and the judge gives the jury a number of directions, including: ‘consent is totally inappropriate in every case and must always be ignored’; if Billy played ‘any part whatsoever in what happened to Anita, he is inevitably guilty’; and ‘it is very clear that Billy had the needed intent to harm Anita.’ The jury convicts Billy of grievous bodily harm contrary to section 18 of the OAPA and he instructs you to prepare his appeal to the Court of Appeal. Please prepare a 1,500 word skeleton argument for the Court of Appeal.

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