How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask F E Smith Your Own Question

F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 8444
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
Type Your Law Question Here...
F E Smith is online now

I just submitted a question and thought I'd paid for it but

Resolved Question:

Hello. I just submitted a question and thought I'd paid for it but it has gone missing and I've had no receipt from PayPal so I'll try again.
I am a novelist (honest!). My character (Bo) has just been to the home of her ex-lover (Alice) and beaten her.
Alice has sustained a small fracture to her skull and severe bruising but her injuries aren't life-threatening.
I think this would count as GBH (with intent?). What sort of sentence would Bo receive and could psychiatric treatment be a condition of it?
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  F E Smith replied 2 months ago.

Are you looking for the injury to be GBH or looking for it not to be GBH?

It is the intent which is the issue. Did Bo intend to cause the injuries or were the injuries and unforeseen circumstance?

If unforeseen circumstance, then there is no intent.

For the purposes of the story, do you need the statutory provisions?

Does Bo have anger management issues?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
No lost her temper and attacked Alice. On the whole, she doesn't have anger management issues. She is usally in control but she lost it on this one occasion.She was very angry and was attacking without thinking of consequences.
Expert:  F E Smith replied 2 months ago.

There are 4 categories of assault.

1. Common assault, section 39 Criminal Justice Act 1988. The lowest form of assault

2. ABH, section 47 Offences against the Person Act 1861

3. Unlawful wounding/GBH, section 20 of the above

4. GBH with intent, section 18 of the above.

The difference between 1 and 2 is the degree of injury and the sentencing powers available from the court. The maximum in the magistrates court is six months imprisonment. However magistrates rarely imprisoned, they would refer it to Crown Court.

Number three is committed when the person maliciously wounds another person or inflicted GBH. There has to be a breaking of the skin for there to be a wound.

Number four is the most serious assault possible where the harm was intended. It is the least common prosecuted because the next serious offence is attempted murder.

In the scenario you relate, it is likely to be charged as section 47 because as you said, she “lost it”. If she lost it, she might be able to rely on the defence of automatism (red mist).

It is worthwhile reading the CPS webpage on this subject

There is unlikely to be psychiatric condition unlesss there is history of problems in that respect

Can I clarify anything for you?

Please rate the service positive. It’s the process by which experts get paid.

We can still exchange emails. Best wishes.


Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Thank you. Would it be a custodial sentence for a s 47 offence?
Expert:  F E Smith replied 2 months ago.

The sentencing guidelines are set out here.if you go to page 12 and onwards, you will see the sentencing guidelinesfor section 47.

F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 8444
Experience: I have been practising for 30 years.
F E Smith and other Law Specialists are ready to help you

What Customers are Saying:

  • Thank you so much for your help. Your answers were really useful and came back so quickly. Great! Maggie
< Previous | Next >
  • Thank you so much for your help. Your answers were really useful and came back so quickly. Great! Maggie
  • A quick response, a succinct and helpful answer in simple English. I believe I can now confront the counter party with confidence -- worth the 30 bucks! Rick
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C.
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther

Meet The Experts:

  • Jo C.

    Jo C.


    Satisfied Customers:

    Over 5 years in practice
< Last | Next >
  • Jo C.'s Avatar

    Jo C.


    Satisfied Customers:

    Over 5 years in practice
  • Ben Jones's Avatar

    Ben Jones

    UK Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
  • Buachaill's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    Barrister 17 years experience
  • Max Lowry's Avatar

    Max Lowry


    Satisfied Customers:

    LLB, 10 years post qualification experience
  • UK_Lawyer's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    I am a qualified solicitor and an expert in UK law.
  • Kasare's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    Solicitor, 10 yrs plus experience in civil litigation, employment and family law
  • Joshua's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice