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R v Jones [1987] Crim LR 123 Court of Appeal

The appellants were schoolboys. They were convicted of inflicting GBH on two fellow school mates having thrown them into the air with the intention of catching them. Unfortunately they had dropped them resulting in serious injury including a ruptured spleen. Evidence was produced that the boys had engaged in the activity before without injury and that it was taken by all as a joke with no intention to cause injury. The trial judge would not allow the defence of consent to go to the jury.

Held:

Appeal allowed. The convictions were quashed. Consent to rough and undisciplined horseplay is a defence and even if there was no actual consent, if the appellants had a genuine belief in consent they should be allowed the defence. There was no requirement that the belief be reasonably held, provided it was genuine.
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