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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71131
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I was at my father in laws death bed when his step grandson

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I was at my father in laws death bed when his step grandson and step daughter and wife came in shouting abuse and the step grandson pushed me with considerable force several times and verbally abused me. Until he stopped I refused to leave the room, my husband was in front of me distaught. There were 5 people in the room and my recently deceased Father in law. This happened April 10th and the funeral is this coming Friday and I am terrified to attend which is not helping my husband.

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

How can I help with this please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I would like to know if I can press charges for common assult. I am VERY unhappy to be physically attacked at my father in laws death bed. He was literally lying dead in the bed.


You could make a report to the police. An open handed push probably isn't what Parliament meant to be included in the definition of a common assault but it clearly does include it.

If you make a report to the police then they would have to investigate it.

Obviously this doesn't guarantee a conviction or even a prosecution but they would have to respond ot your report.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

How would they respond ?

I don't believe it was just open handed I believe I was punched in the arm too and this lasted for a good few minutes. I still feel very shaken up have had sleepless nights etc and I do not want this young man to think he can physically abuse me or anyone else.

I would imagine they would invite him in for interview voluntarily at a time of mutual convenience. There isn't really a justification for an arrest here.

They would interview him. If he denies it and the witnesses support him then probably they would take no further action.

If he admits in then they would likely offer him a youth warning at the police station unless he has previous convictions.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I believe he is 20/21 years old.

I am worried at the funeral there may be a repeat of his behaviour would you advise to report prior to the funeral which is this coming Friday?

I misread that. I had presumed he was a youth.

If he is over 17 then they would probably offer him an adult caution if he admits it.

There isn't a great deal that can be done in advance of the funeral. Ultimately the law doesn't really deal with advance events. Realistically you are not going to get an emergency injunction that prevents him going to the funeral and it would be expensive to try.
Jo C. and 3 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Would it make any difference if he already had a police record (I have no idea either way). How long would a caution stay on someones record?


Only in that they may have to either charge him or take no further action.

A caution is spent immediately so drops off straight away.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Pre coming into the room they were really angry as my husband (who is the eldest son) arrived before them. This is a wicked step mother senario in action.

Everything in the room was calm, my brother in law was in there, aswell as 'Sams' father, my husband and myself.

It feels like it was pre mediated, they pushed past his grandson in the corridor who left immediately in disgust at their aggressive behaviour and then Sam attacked me.

In your professional judgement is this worth persuing?

Well, its not really a matter of my professional judgement. Its a question of your judgement really.

In terms of whether its likely that your account would be accepted, I suspected it would come down to what the witnesses say.

In terms of whether its a good idea, that is a matter for you. If you are asking for my own personal view, I would go a long way before getting the police involved in a domestic. I don't think it helps families long term and Im not sure I see how it helps in the short term. That is not to say that what he did wasn't unacceptable and that there shouldn't be retribution in the way that we all do all the time by not speaking to each other for months at a time. Its just that my own personal view is that family grievances not a matter for the courts. But you are free to take a different view.