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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71053
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I was assaulted by my sister as part of a family dispute. It

Customer Question

I was assaulted by my sister as part of a family dispute. It was the fourth or fifth occasion upon which she had assaulted me but whereas in the past I had done nothing to defend myself on this last occasion I restrained her using proportionate force.

She then went to the police and complained that I assaulted her. I told them that she assaulted me.

She had some scratches around her wrists and some red areas where I had held her down to stop her hitting my head. As she was restrained she bit the inside of my wrist leaving a very deep imprint of her teeth which didn't clear up for months.

The police arrested both of us, but detained only myself overnight. I am male.

They have said that using a defence of self defence on my part is and admission of the use of violence and implies that violence took place according to common law.

Can this be right ?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

I'm not sure what your question is? Obviously its unfair but then all of these allegations are.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I am asking whether it is permissible if you are attacked in an unprovoked fashion to use minimum and proportionate force to restrain your attacker.


In my case it seems that my fingernails needed cutting and probably scratched her wrists, and because I am very strong there were temporarily red marks on her wrists where I had restrained her.


The police are claiming that my actions were violence contrary to criminal law.


Surely there is some statute and common law which allows the innocent party to protect himself in the event of attack upon his person ?


I need to know the relevant sections of which act and names of the appropriate cases in order that I can go back to the police.


I hope the above is clear.



Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.

The police are acting upon her allegation which is not likely to be the entire truth.

On your account your actions were indeed lawful self defence. She will be saying that you took greater action than this or that she was not attacking you. Unfortunately the police have to act upon allegations received now. The days when they could exercise good sense have sadly gone.

There's no point in arguing this with police officers though. This is not an issue of law but of just simply which version of events are to be believed.

In terms of law this is just a simple self defence point. That will not be the issue here. The issue will be who was the aggressor originally which is a question of fact not of law.

For what its worth, I don't really see the point of wasting police resources on these relationship issues either.

I'm sorry this isn't the answer you wanted but it is the position that you face and I have a duty to inform you truthfully.

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you need more information.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes you say it is lawful self defence so I would like to have something more concrete to challenge the police with.


Surely you can provide me with some statute or case law to do so ?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
This is a legal principle. Its a defence. It doesn't arise from case law.

Its really not a good idea to challenge the police. That is a quick way to get yourself charged.

The time for challenges is at court.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

To be honest I am not happy with your reply. I am no further forward having emailed to you than before I started, I am sorry to say.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
OK.Good luck then.