Spitting On Someone's Face -- Legal Implications Watch

andro
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#1
Report Thread starter 12 years ago
#1
Hi,

I'm just curious to know what the legal implications are of spitting on a person face. If done in public, therefore in the presence of witnesses, would the person spat on be able to turn to the law in order to seek vengeance. Can one sue perhaps?

This could be useful information for anyone thinking of forcibly ejecting saliva on someone in the future. :p:

Cheers!
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Lawz-
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#2
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Assault at criminal law

In tort - trespass against the person.

You can sue - but youd get about 10 pound.
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Crazy Mongoose
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(Original post by Lawz-)
Assault at criminal law

In tort - trespass against the person.

You can sue - but youd get about 10 pound.
Assualt is an arrestable offence, right? So as long as you kept the violence 'reasonable' in order to restrain the person who spat on you, could you argue it as citizens arrest?
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Joshytoohotty
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It's Battery(an unlawful application of force), Assault is debatable as you'd have to prove the individual was in fear of immediate personal violence.

Depends if you were spat on as someone was passing or if they violently did it in a threatening way.
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andro
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Lets say that you were sitting opposite the person at a restaurant as the scenario, for instance.

Battery seems to make sense to me because the action of spitting on someone's face is without the recipient's consent and is offensive and upsetting.

In this case I don't think assault would apply because the person would not have known that the person was to spit on them, therefore could not have experienced any fear.
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Danny5876
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It's to apprehend force not to fear force in relation to assault. There is a difference between the two words. For example a boxer apprehends force but certainly does not fear it.
But looking at the above scenario it is unlikely to be an assault but a battery contrary to S39 of the Criminal Justice Act.
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The Lawyer
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Lynsey [1995] held that actual touching of the victim was not necessary to constitute a battery. In this instance, there was a battery when the defendant spat in the face of the victim (a police office).

S.39. Battery Crininal Justice Act 1988
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Lady Narcissus
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I remember all those cases and the one called savage where she chucked water or beer in someones face for having sex with her bf and accidently dropped the glass so it cut the victims wrist. Sorry off topic but their verbal scrap amused me when reading the report
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Lush Law
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To be honest, spitting in someone's face would be unlikely to result in any significant implications due to down-criming, but it would depend on the context I suppose. It would amount to no more than a battery, which would be case for the Mags and only punishable my 6 months in prison max or a fine not exceeding 5 on the scale [I think?!]. I'm forgetting everything I revised already! I'm crap..
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Joshytoohotty
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(Original post by RR)
To be honest, spitting in someone's face would be unlikely to result in any significant implications due to down-criming, but it would depend on the context I suppose. It would amount to no more than a battery, which would be case for the Mags and only punishable my 6 months in prison max or a fine not exceeding 5 on the scale [I think?!]. I'm forgetting everything I revised already! I'm crap..
Agreed that in reality spitting in someone's face is unlikely to have any legal implications other than a slap on the wrists and possibly a warning.

But techincally it's at least a battery.

You could argue assault if you could prove that the defendant intended to cause the victim to fear immediate physical violence or was reckless as to doing so and that the victim actually did fear the above. Unlikely, but not impossible I guess, it all depends on the circumstances and the way it's done etc.

Although as you say, in reality the legal implications would be minimal if amounting to anything official at all.

El Hadji Diouf, an Ex-Liverpool player did it to a member of the Celtic crowd and I believe they pressed charges, I think he ended up having to pay compensation although whether that would have happened if he wasn't extortionately rich is debatable- remember that remedies are based on income and proportionated accordingly.
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greeny1
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my ex spat at me, he has now been charged with assault by beating (along withe a couple of other things) is this right
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DCDCo
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This is Battery.

An example of assault would be if you were to swing a punch at someone and miss. You would have caused them to apprehend immediate and unlawful violence (lets just say, they moved out of the way).

Using that example in the case of spitting, if the person knew they were going to be spat at, they would have made some attempt to avoid it.
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KayHarris
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I was at my Dr appt today and there was a child(I'm aiming) that had downs syndrome. As she sat across from me seeming to be entertaining herself, I too entertained myself by playing games on my phone. I saw her getting up coming towards me but I didn't think anything of it other then she was curious as what I was doing. All of a sudden, she hawked up an spat in my face. I jumped up and grabbed her in fear she might attack me and called for the Dr. By the second time I called his name, he came running and I informed him that she spat in my face. I have ocd so immediately I went into anxiety and rushed to the bathroom where I soaped and scrubbed my face. Not once did he apologize for her actions and honestly I'm bothered behind both his actions and mines as well for reacting knowing she had special needs. It caught me off guard but more importantly I felt violated. In all my 33yrs living I've NEVER experienced anything like that ever before. I'm slightly traumatized behind it as I cried all the way home and feeling remorseful of MY actions when all I did was try to defend myself from being assualted any further. What legal or non legal actions can I take to protect myself? I feel so nasty and violated in a way I couldn't fathom something this degrading ever happening to ME
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DCDCo
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You can use force to apprehend force being used against you. The law also empowers you to use a “pre-emptive” strike to prevent force being used against you. What can you do to protect yourself legally? Well, exactly what you did. You must also remember that your use of force should be proportionate in the circumstances. Lumping a child in the face is probably not gonna cut it in terms of a pre emptive strike if you felt in fear, as an adult. Your response seems completely fair. Maybe I’d write to the surgery and explain your incident to them and how it made you feel.
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