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 Jo C. Your Own Question
Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71048
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
Type Your Law Question Here...
Jo C. is online now

Hi, On Friday night @ about 10pm our next door neighbours

This answer was rated:

On Friday night @ about 10pm our next door neighbours came home very drunk. Mr hit my girlfriend over the fence as she tried to get the barking dogs in.she tried to defend herself while struggling with the was calling her a names etc.
The 18 year old son intervened to stop him.
I said go inside and call the police which they did. I'm the mean time mrs had already called the police saying my girlfriend and son were attacking girlfriend called the police as as she was on the phone he fell backwards down some very steep steps.he is now in hospital paralysed from the neck down. My girlfriend & son were arrested and now out on bail. The police say he was pushed.
Mrs did not see him fall nor did I.
If they or one of them are convicted would it be a section 20 or 18.
Very very sad.

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

Do they have any previous convictions please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Jo, no

Thank you.

They will probably charge this as section 18 and then CPS may add a section 20 as an alternative a later stage.

Clearly this is a GBH. These injuries are of the most serious kind.

The question really is whether or not it was intended that the GBH should be caused. That is difficult to say as I haven't seen the evidence but it is fair to say that if these are very steep stairs then pushing a person down the might be contemplated to cause GBH. Of course, that is not the test. If they want to rely on section 18 they have to prove that it was her intention to cause him grievous bodily harm and that is often quite difficult to do in cases of spontaneous violence.

Jurors can be funny about things like that but probably there is a 50% chance of them accepting that this was a reckless act and so section 20.

Can I clarify anything for you

Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

she has a job no previous convictions & has a 5 year old.

what is the likely sentance under section 20&18?


Im afraid that for a paralysis arising from a broken she is going to prison whatever her commitments.

if its a S18 then 6 -9 years.

If its a S20 then probably 2-4.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

thank you

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 Jo C’. You can also bookmark my profile
Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you