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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70190
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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This weekend I was attacked in a night club by a stranger,

Customer Question

this weekend I was attacked in a night club by a stranger, while having an animated discussion with a friend of mine. the third person was a stranger to me. is this something you could provide help with
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Hi.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
What would you like to know about this please?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Hi
Can you respond?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
sure.
i will provide as much detail as i can
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
I just need to know what your questions is about this please?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We were out in a night club with few friends. As the bill arrived there were some discussion. All was very civilized, A very good friend of mine had been poking me and making fun of me throughout all night, and despite having told him to stop he continued all night along and I thought he was overstepping the mark. Before paying he made another joke, hence I tapped him twice on the face and told him to stop. He was surprised by my reaction, an heated exchange of words started as the remaining 4 friends came around us to defuse the situation. As i was walking toward him to speak to him (I was nervous but being very good friend I had no intention to be aggressive or phisical) a stranger (at least to all of us, but probably a person that the friend I had the altercation with, knew) standing behind my friend jumped forward as i was moving toward my friend and punched me in the face. I hit my jaw and I was stunned for a moment, shocked i would say, many other people jumped in at that moment, i tried to push this stranger away and the as the bouncer came over, walked away from the mayehm as i was concerned for my jaw. was in pain and could not close it properly.
I asked the bouncer to stop that person and take his details. I was very upset an asked the club to call the police, they didn't, hence i called it my self.
The police arrived a bit later, by then most of the people involved had left.
The officer went downstairs to review the CCTV and came back saying i had no ground to complain as that was self defence. I was walking toward a stranger and that person felt threaten hence punched me.
I have not seen the CCTV footage, however i really disagree with this version provided. I have no knowledge of this person and was walking toward my friend. I recall the stranger saying "oh f**k off" and hitting me.
I was really upset, mostly also because of one comment provided by the officer. he said, "you are lucky as if the other person was here i would have arrested you"
I am at a loss on how a third party could jump into a situation without any prior knowledge, attack me, and ultimately in the eyes of the police i am the wrong.
I would like to know what i should do next?
the stranger left and I have no details of him. I have since reconnected with my friend and we have had a nice and polite reconciliatory chat. I suspect that the person that attacked me is a person my friend know.
what shall i do next? shall i look to sue him, could he sue me.
What would your advise be?
thanks
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
i have never had any problem with the law and never been involved in a brawl or a fight. I am a very apprehensive person and this situation is now causing me a lot of distress. I would like to understand what is the best course of action here. thanks
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
I am not sure what you are hoping to achieve?
You can make a report to the police and they could seize the CCTV. The practical reality though is that unless he is recognised by an officer on the footage they are not going to be able to trace him.
Unless your friend is willing to name him there is no other way of doing so.
In any event, if the officer had formed the view from the CCTV that he acted in self defence then finding him would be a disastrous idea as it could lead to you being charged and if there is suggestion that you intend to sue him then you almost certainly would. He will likely make a report to head off an action. I think the police are probably of the view that he didn't hit your first whatever your recollection. Even on your own account you were pursuing him and there is a defence of pre emptive strike self defence.
He could do that anyway and then there is nothing that can be done but that has happened yet and you need to protect your position.
Sorry if that is bad news but I have to give you truthful information.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Jo
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Just to clarify, i never touched him, I was moving forward toward my friend and as i was doing that, without any contact with him, he jumped forward toi punch me in my face. the contact was made by him. not me
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I never touched him, he punched me first, and the police never said i touched him, they just said you were walking toward him (i wasn't I was walking toward my friend)
Also, I am unclear to your advice on what i should do. i should just wait and see or what else?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
i never pushed him before, i was punched first and then tried to push away him as a defence, not even sure i manage to do that as the bouncer came in.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Yes, the officer is arguing pre emptive strike self defence. So he hit you because you were approaching him with the intention of committing violence.
Don't pursue this. The risk are too high.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok, then what i shall do? just wait? what if he sue me?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
He will have to identify you to sue.
That is quite unlikely.
I would just wait it out in the hope that nothing will happen.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
well the police has my details hence he could. Wouldn't he run some risks in sueing me too?
All my friends were there and have the exact recollection of events I have.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
He probably thinks he would as he won't understand pre emptive strike self defence.
The reality is that the officer has already formed a view though so the risks are minimal.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
so whatever the officer thinks goes?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Not necessarily but in this case it probably is.
If you were approaching him in hostility, which you seem to accept, then his actions do amount to self defence.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
how can one person be the judge of what's right or wrong? wouldn't there be a process, a trial?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have probably been unclear. I was not approaching him. I was approaching my friend. he was standing beside him and before I could move toward my friend he jumped forward to hit me.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Yes, but you would be the defendant which you would probably want to avoid.
I'm happy to continue with this but please rate my answer.
Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Do you think i should approach my friend and ask him to let his friend know that i willing to let it go and move on?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
I wouldn't suggest that.
Apart from anything else it will let him know that he could make a report. His view at the moment will be that he hit you first and so is not the victim and he isn't going to make any reports in those circumstances.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
So you would just wait and see if he takes action and if he does then react.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
if he does take action what is the risk i am running?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
If it is just that you pushed him away then it is just a low level common assault.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
can you go to jail for that?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
You can but you won't.
Nobody is going to get custody for this unless they have a horrendous record.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
i have no record. I have never had a problem with the law, the maximum i had was 2 3-point penalties over 10 years of driving
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
However, I still find this concept of pre-emptive strike extremely confusing, as it effectively allow third party to cause offence and make it look like as pre-emptive strike...
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
They would probably just offer you a caution then but you want to avoid that.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
reality is that my other friend blocked him after he punched me, and according to what you say they should have a right to go after him the same way he could have a right to go after me. he was aggressive toward me and other people.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
what i am trying to say is that the way self defence seem to work, then it seems other people may have a right to go after him as he erupted into aggression and violence toward me (separate case) but also toward others. And others should have the same right to self defence he has.hence they should have a case against him too
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
It depends what you mean by blocked him.
Unless he comes forwards nobody will have to worry.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
ok, understood. If he decide to come forward what is the usual timing? and under what form it would happen? would it be a letter from the magistrate court?
And again just to confirm your suggestion is to just wait rather than being proactive?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
They would probably just offer you a caution then but you want to avoid that.
Definitely do nothing. He is not going to come forward.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
ok thanks
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
No problem and all the best.
Remember that I am always available to help with your questions. Even if I am in Court I will usually pick up a question within 12 hours. For future information, please start your question with ‘For Jomo1972’.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
thanks
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
All the best.

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