In instances of horseplay, the test that is to be applied, in order to decide if the defendant is guilty or otherwise, is the subjective test i.e. the question that is to be asked is whether the defendant had intended to cause the victim the harm that had resulted and not if a reasonable man can foresee that some harm would result from the defendant’s actions. In most instances in order to obtain a conviction the prosecution must establish that the defendant’s actions were beyond what could be construed as mere horseplay.
In Richardson and Irwin (1999) two students lifted another over a balcony, after a bout of evening drinking and dropped him some twelve feet causing him serious injuries.
The court decided that the defendants were not guilty. Clearly the boys were fooling around, and they had no intention of causing any form or type of injury to their friend. In such instances the question that is to be asked is whether the boys intended to cause the defendant the harm that resulted (subjective test) and not if a reasonable man could foresee that some type of harm may result from the defendants actions (objective test) see also R v Lamb (1967).
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