R v Brown 
- The defendants engaged themselves in sadomasochistic acts resulting in the infliction of actual (ABH) and grievous bodily harm (GBH)
- Although none of the participants in the encounter reported anything to the police, the Crown Prosecution Service acted upon a video of the encounter
- Could ABH and GBH be consented to in sexual acts where both pleasure and pain were simultaneous inflicted?
- By a majority of 3:2, the acts were said to be unlawful
- Opinion: the judgment appears to be based on moral opinions of the judges
- Lord Mustil (minority) dissented as the majority had not correctly applied sections 20 and 47 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861
- Battery can be consented to
- ABH can sometimes be consented to if there are public policy considerations in favour of such consent (for example in organised boxing matches)
- Sadomasochistic acts casing ABH do not fall into the category of acts permitted by public policy
- GBH cannot be consented to
Posted in Criminal Law Revision Notes.
This page was last updated on 28th December 2014