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R v Harris (1836) 7 C & P 446

The defendant bit off his victim's nose. The statute made it an offence 'to stab cut or wound' the court held that under the literal rule the act of biting did not come within the meaning of stab cut or wound as these words implied an instrument had to be used. Therefore the defendant's conviction was quashed.
Back to lecture outline on the literal rule of statutory interpretation