Case Analysis : Chalmers V. ' S ' Open This Door And I Will Do You ! '

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Chalmers v Lawless Assault It’s arguable that by Lawless saying to Chalmer ‘open this door and I will do you!’ and by repeatedly striking his window, and ultimately his face, that Lawless has committed an assault against Chalmer. Lawless evidently had the intention of arousing an apprehension of physical harm in Chalmer: Rixon v Start City Casino (2001) 53 NSWLR 98 (‘Rixon’)). This was achieved by both his conduct, in striking the window: Chief Constable of Thames Valley Police v Hepburn, and his statement that he would ‘do you!’: R v Ireland, as an assault can be constituted by both conduct, and words. In the case of conditional threats, the context of a threat may render it harmless, if the condition is too remote: Tuberville v Savage [1669] EWHC KB J25. However, in this case the condition is merely that Chalmer opens his door, and Lawless will ‘do’ him. The fulfilment of this condition isn’t so remote as to render the threat harmless. Further, it’s the threat of application of unlawful force that gives rise to intentional threats, as the wrongfulness of the threat makes it actionable: Rozsa v Samuels [1969] SASR 205. The threat must create an apprehension of imminent physical harm or contact, and that apprehension must be present and continuing. This is satisfied on the facts by Lawless threatening Chalmer and continuing to do so whilst standing next to his car, as he struck the window and eventually Chalmer’s face. It’s stated that Chalmer felt ‘uncomfortable’ and
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