Assault – Law of Torts – Notes

Assault  – It is an intentional tort where the defendant act is intended to cause reasonable apprehension of an imminent harmful or offensive contact in plaintiff’s mind. An assault is an attempt or offer, by force or violence to do a corporal curt another as, by pointing a pitchfork at him when standing within reach presenting a gun at him with shooting distance, drawing a sword and waving it in a menacing manner.

Read v. Coker [(1853) 13 CB 850] – In this case, the plaintiff was a tenant of the defendant. The defendant called thugs who pulled up their sleeves and showed their fist and then asked the plaintiff to leave the defendant’s garage.  The court held that the act of pulling up of sleeves and showing of fist constituted assault.

Innes v. Wylie – In this case, a policeman unlawfully prevented the plaintiff from entering the club premises. It was held that “if the policeman was entirely passive like a door or a wall put to prevent from entering the room,” there was no assault.

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