S20 Wounding (GBH)


Section 20 assault involves grievous (or really serious) bodily harm or a wound.

This offence is committed when a person unlawfully and maliciously, either:

  • wounds another person; or
  • inflicts grievous bodily harm upon another person.

Wounding means the breaking of the continuity of the whole of the outer skin or the inner skin within the cheek or lip. The definition of wounding may include injuries that are relatively minor in nature, for example, a small cut. However, these should not be charged as an assault contrary to section 20 and this should be reserved for those wounds considered to be really serious.

Grievous bodily harm means really serious bodily harm. Examples of what would usually amount to really serious harm include:

  • injury resulting in permanent disability, loss of sensory function or visible disfigurement;
  • broken  bones, including fractured skull, compound fractures, broken cheek bone, jaw, ribs, etc;
  • injuries which cause substantial loss of blood, usually necessitating a transfusion or result in lengthy treatment or incapacity;
  • Serious psychiatric injury.

It is an either way offence which carries a maximum penalty on indictment of 5 years imprisonment and/or an unlimited fine. In the Magistrates’ Court the maximum penalty is six months imprisonment and/or a fine

Spartans Law has a history of representing clients throughout the country for GBH. It is also true that we have disposed of allegations before the Jury was invited to hear the case. Our client walked out of court freely. If you or someone you know has been accused with GBH Contact Us now.