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   Home      R v Brown and Stratton
R v Brown and Stratton [1997] EWCA Crim 2255 Court of Appeal

The two defendants were cousins. They attacked Stratton's father, who had been undergoing gender reassignment. At the time of the attack the defendants had both been drinking and went round to the victim's house with the intention of beating her up because of the embarrassment she had caused her son in turning up to his place of work wearing a dress. In the attack she sustained a broken nose, she lost three teeth, swelling to her face, lacerations to her eye and concussion. The defendants offered a plea for ABH but denied causing GBH. The trial judge in his direction to the jury stated:

"Another way of looking at it is how would you describe these injuries if you were the victim? Would you call them really serious, or would you say that they were not really serious?"

The jury convicted them of GBH under s.18. The defendants appealed.


There was a mis-direction in relation to the meaning of GBH but that did not render their convictions unsafe. However, their convictions under s.18 were quashed and substituted with convictions under s.20 due to a mis-direction in relation to the affect of their intoxication.

Lord Justice Potter:

"The nature of the enquiry is to be judged objectively by a jury according to ordinary standards of usage and experience and upon all the evidence before it and not subjectively from the stand point of the victim."
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