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Section 18 with wounding - advice please

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kdmac | 23:07 Sun 22nd Jan 2012 | Law
14 Answers
I recently kicked my ex girlfriends door down out of frustration that she was ignoring me and wouldn't answer the door (the lights were on) . She wasn't home though and I kicked it once but my foot went through the panel. I know this was wrong but its not what I'm being charged for.

I sent her a message saying i'd done this and would get a new door and see her in the morning. I told my mum and my mum phoned her (but didn't get through) and left a text message. I contemplated going home but was worried someone would rob her if she didn't come back over the weekend so I slept on the sofa - I was going to wait till morning so I could get it sorted.

I woke up when she came back shouting at me. I was half asleep on the sofa and stood up. As I got up her new boyfriend came in the room with a knife (he has admitted this) and approached me shouting. I have been seriously assaulted in the past when a grown man walked up to me with a champagne bottle (I was 18 then - 28 now) and smashed me in the face with it. He had no reason to do it and I now have a large scar (very noticeable) from my lip across my face about 2.5 inches long from my lip across my face. This man went to prison after I testified. Because of this I am very nervous in confrontational situations. I panicked, thinking he was going to knife me, and stepped back into the room. There was nowhere to go and it is a tight space. I grabbed the nearest thing (which was a bottle) and threw it at him. I did this to get some breathing space and think what to do. I then grabbed at the knife as he recoiled and we struggled with it. We both ended up on the floor and rolled about. When I got the knife off him I went into the kitchen (this is where the house exit is) and dropped the knife in the sink. I also ran some water over my hand to see the damage. He was in the bedroom and the police were now outside (I could hear sirens).

I left the flat and as I was getting onto the street he jumped me from behind. The police statement says he shouted he was going to kill me and punched at me. He was tazzered because he was being so violent - I went peacefully.

It turns out he has a stab wound under his right armpit, a laceration on his left palm which needed stitches (he held the knife with his right) and a small cut on his right, he also has head injuries from the bottle (which struck him there). I have stitches in my right hand and cuts to my left.

I am being charged with section 18 wounding with intent. He has said that when I got the knife I came at him with the knife (he hasn't said when he got stabbed). My ex didn't see him with the knife but saw me with it when we were on the floor (presumably as I got hold of it). She was the first to leave the flat and was gone when I stood up. The new boyfriend has admitted to arming himself in case it was a burgular - but they never called the police before coming in so its quite possible he knew I was there from the messages. She only called the police when it started to kick off.

His statement is all over the place with lots of inconsistencies. He even said he entered the flat by turning the handle, but the policeman who wrote a crime scene report said the handle wouldn't open because it was locked and access was granted by entering where the panel was kicked open.

I'm going for self defence because I didn't have the weapon, he did, and it only happened because he came up close to me with a knife shouting. I generally panicked and freaked out because I thought he was going to stab me.

I have no previous convictions, have a good job and have never been violent with my ex (she will agree to this unless she hates me now).

Because of this I am now on bail with a curfew (house arrest from 22:00 to 06:00) and cannot even enter my home county where my mortgaged house is.

What are your thoughts on this? What can I expect and what should I do? Does anyone have any experience or advice?


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Sorry but from your description you ARE guilty of Section 18.
This HAS to be a prison sentence unless there are very strong reasons why a judge can give an alternative . Nothing you have said would consitute such a reason. You have to face facts, you are going to prison !
There is an automatic 1/3rd reduction in sentence for an early guilty plea. You need to plead guilty, with luck you may be out in about a year.
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Question Author
Its not childish douglas9401 - it is my life. I would say childish is a grown man with a picture of a bull for his profile.

EDDIE51 - is it not the right of every person to defend themselves if the situation for defence arises. Should I have just stood there and been stabbed? Would that be acceptable? What would have happened if I had been. I asked if self defence was a possible defence and you have given me no response to this effect.
hiya, you need to speak to a solicitor. you only give us one side of the story here, and a legal advisor will have the benfit of all the facts, not just the ones you chose to present here, plus the legal knowledge to tell you what sentence you are looking at, or the best way to plead
Kdmac ! Let us get this straight. You picked up a bottle and threw it at another person and injured them. That is a Section 18 assult, GBH/ wounding with intent.
All the other stuff is just mitigation it does not excuse what you did. You ARE going to jail so be prepared.
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Self defence is a defence but it has to be proportional to the threat
In the situation you describe self defence would be getting an object ( a cushion for example or even a chair) and using it to deflect the attack. Throwing a bottle at the guy is ' over the top' it is not proportional .
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So in the eyes of the law I should have let him stab me. I think you are missing something EDDIE51 (at least hope you are). Fist vs knives don't work (its like rock paper scissors). Its not as if i pulled out a gun and shot him or smashed the bottle first sop it was sharpened glass - i used similar force in reaction to him. A knife isn't a game, it could have killed me and I would do the same thing again. I consider section 18 to be incredibly harsh considering he was fit enough to attack me from behind and had to be tazered after his injuries.

I did not intend to hit him in the head but do know any injury to the head is subject to section 18. That said the guy that bottled me unprovoked when I was 18 only got 2.5 years - and he caused permanent disfigurement. If you walk away with a few little nicks and are the catalyst for those injuries I don't think that's justice.

I'll see what my solicitor has to say when we get full disclosure, but above is a breakdown of all the statements (not just my word). He said I came at him after i got the knife - she and I didn't. He is trying to mitigate his liability for his injuries. I am already expecting time as a spent the first week of custody in prison, but I don't think that section 18 is justified considering the situation and my LACK of intent - I didn't bring or try to harm him merely remove the threat!
i don't know anything about section 18 but you just said in your post that you "know" that any injury to the head is section 18. If this is the case then you injured him to the head = section 18

Assault offences, incl Wounding/causing grievous bodily harm with intent and defences
To those who have had their answers removed:

"Please also refrain from being rude, abusive or judgemental - users come here for advice, not judgement."

If you're not going to be helpful, please don't both posting.

All the best,

kdmac, you did not 'Defend' you attacked first by throwing the bottle.
Defence has to be when the attack is taking place not before it happens.
I have a lot of sympathy for you but I still maintain that you are guilty and should plead guilty.
I have been thinking about this.
There MAY be a way out of this without going to prison It is possible (only possible) that the prosecution will accept a plea of guilty to the lesser charge of Section 20 and drop the S18. It is known as a 'plea bargain' you need to ask your solicitor if it is possible in your case. The big advantage is that a S20 can be a non custodial sentence and very often is for a 1st offence.
DO NOT go into court with the aggressive attitude about 'self defence' you have shown here, it will go against you and rule out any chance of getting away with out a prison term.
Best of luck, and let us know what your solicitor says.
Saying the very least, your account is somewhat 1-sided...however, you mentioned that "the new bf's" statement is full of inconsistencies which will be brought to the courts attention when (I am presuming if your going to go for self defence / not guilty) you appear before a crown court for a trial..... he will of course be called upon to give evidence against you, and if he says anything different from his statement he will be challenged in regards to that. Also, your defence barristers will have the chance to question him about the events and anything relevant to what happened. But the fact remains you threw a bottle at him, well due to fact of him possesing a knife and making you feel very scared for your safety and all you thought was you had to defend yourself and get yourself away from being confronted with knife and he's mentioned that himself and admitted that he had the knife will no doubt be a contributing factor for you getting a not guilty verdict. Best of luck and keep updated on what is happening please with this case ....

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Section 18 with wounding - advice please

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