What is grievous bodily harm with intent?

Section 33 of the Crimes Act 1900 provides that a person who wounds a person, or causes grievous bodily harm to any person with intent to cause grievous bodily harm to that or any other person, is guilty of an offence.

What is Grievous Bodily Harm (GBH)?

Section 4(1) of the Crimes Act 1900 defines “grievous bodily harm” as:

  • any permanent or serious disfiguring of the person,
  • the destruction of a foetus, and
  • any grievous bodily disease (EG. Infecting a person with HIV)

The common law defines, ‘grievous bodily harm’ simply as any injury that is ‘really serious’: DPP v Smith [1961] AC 290.

Other examples of Grievous Bodily Harm include:

  • Battery of a person causing serious injury.
  • Serious fractures of the skull or jaw requiring a long recovery time.
  • Cuts and / or lacerations requiring surgery.
  • Broken bones.
  • Nerve damage.
  • Brain damage.

The way in which grievous bodily harm may be inflicted varies substantially: R v Kama (2000) 110 A Crim R 47 at [16]

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