What are aggravating features to a charge of common assault?

Aggravating  features are those features present in a charge of common assault which will cause a court to consider either an immediate prison sentence or a suspended prison sentence.

Firstly with regard to the nature of the injury, if the charge of common assault is as a result of injury falling just short of actual bodily harm the court may consider a prison sentence.

Furthermore, if the offence has been planned or involves a group of people attacking a lone individual that is an aggravating feature of common assault. In addition, the use of a weapon, stamping, kicking whilst on the ground or head-butting are aggravating features. If the offence is racially motivated common assault or is a hate crime against an individual due to their sex, race or religious background that is a serious aggravating feature.

Finally, if the common assault is against a vulnerable person such as a child or elderly person or if there are certain aspects of the case which were designed to humiliate the victim of common assault, the court will consider a custodial sentence.

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