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Square Go

Post  Jake331 on Sat Oct 26, 2013 3:39 am

what is the legal position on a good old fashioned "step outside" type fight when both parties agree to have a fight in the car park in front of witnesses? if they have both agreed to fight, then does that make it like a fight in the cage or ring, where nobody gets done for assault as it was a consensual sporting type event? If not, what's the difference?

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Re: Square Go

Post  Chris on Mon Oct 28, 2013 3:27 am

Jake331 wrote:what is the legal position on a good old fashioned "step outside" type fight when both parties agree to have a fight in the car park in front of witnesses? if they have both agreed to fight, then does that make it like a fight in the cage or ring, where nobody gets done for assault as it was a consensual sporting type event? If not, what's the difference?
It's a good question. Very good question in fact.

Bottom line is that there are numerous criminal offences on the books which relate to violence. There are a number of different objective and subjective standards which are applied depending upon which offence the defendant is charged with. The whole range of available evidence will dictate whether the elements of the offence are in place and who is charged with which offence.

Hard to give much more than that as an answer without going into a LOT of detail about the application of various charges and the elements of the offences but I can tell you that agreeing to "step outside" does not by itself provide any defence against criminal charges. If the elements are there for the offence then you are going to be charged and it is perfectly possible to commit a criminal offence against someone who is an active participant in an "argument" or "violent" altercation.
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Re: Square Go

Post  Jake331 on Mon Oct 28, 2013 6:27 am

Chris wrote:
Hard to give much more than that as an answer without going into a LOT of detail about the application of various charges and the elements of the offences but I can tell you that agreeing to "step outside" does not by itself provide any defence against criminal charges. If the elements are there for the offence then you are going to be charged and it is perfectly possible to commit a criminal offence against someone who is an active participant in an "argument" or "violent" altercation.  
so is there something specific about an organised sporting event such as an MMA fight then that offers protection from prosecution? I suppose there must be as at the end of the day it still comes down to two guys agreeing to fight, whether in a cage or a car park? Do fighters in sporting events sign some sort of waiver beforehand, is that the difference? What about when fighters do something against the rules like kicking a downed opponent or hitting after the bell - are they still protected from prosecution? Sorry if being a pain in the arse with the questions, not planning on a "straightener" or anything, just find this subject interesting:-)

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Re: Square Go

Post  Socrates on Mon Oct 28, 2013 6:43 am

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Re: Square Go

Post  Chris on Mon Oct 28, 2013 7:34 am

They are great questions Jake, no worries at all.

There isn't any specific defence related to participation to sporting events. It is entirely possible that should an assault occur as part of the contest then there may be an arrest of the person in question. It has happened in the past where sportsmen have served time for their criminal conduct on the pitch.

It's easier to see that line in the sand where the sport does not involve striking or grappling as part of the sport. Much harder where two athletes have entrers into a combat sport. In general, when it comes to contact and combat sports there is what is known as the "white line" mentality. i.e. once the participants have entered the "arena" or crossed the white line onto the pitch then they are subject to the rules of the contest when it comes to their actions. They will be sanctioned by a governing body with a very clearly understood charter and ruleset and provided both athletes are abiding by those rules it is incredibly unlikely that any police officer will jump into the event and make arrests. In combat sports should someone hit after the bell, crank a submission after the ref has stopped the bout etc etc then it is possible that criminal charges could be brought against the potential offender. No police force really wants the headache of jumping into that type of debate but they will where someone has clearly been hurt outside of the accepted ruleset.

None of which is written down anywhere in the UK (to the best of my knowledge) and none of which applies to a violent encounter between individuals outside of a sporting context even if that contest is consentual and has some kind of ad hoc ruleset (like backyard boxing or bareknuckle prize fighting etc)
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Re: Square Go

Post  Jake331 on Mon Oct 28, 2013 8:02 am

Chris wrote:They are great questions Jake, no worries at all.

There isn't any specific defence related to participation to sporting events. It is entirely possible that should an assault occur as part of the contest then there may be an arrest of the person in question. It has happened in the past where sportsmen have served time for their criminal conduct on the pitch.

It's easier to see that line in the sand where the sport does not involve striking or grappling as part of the sport. Much harder where two athletes have entrers into a combat sport. In general, when it comes to contact and combat sports there is what is known as the "white line" mentality. i.e. once the participants have entered the "arena" or crossed the white line onto the pitch then they are subject to the rules of the contest when it comes to their actions. They will be sanctioned by a governing body with a very clearly understood charter and ruleset and provided both athletes are abiding by those rules it is incredibly unlikely that any police officer will jump into the event and make arrests. In combat sports should someone hit after the bell, crank a submission after the ref has stopped the bout etc etc then it is possible that criminal charges could be brought against the potential offender. No police force really wants the headache of jumping into that type of debate but they will where someone has clearly been hurt outside of the accepted ruleset.

None of which is written down anywhere in the UK (to the best of my knowledge) and none of which applies to a violent encounter between individuals outside of a sporting context even if that contest is consentual and has some kind of ad hoc ruleset (like backyard boxing or bareknuckle prize fighting etc)
Thanks Chris - did some searching to see if any fighters have been prosecuted for conduct in the ring/cage and found this
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BI3D7h5yxOs
Butler was a very promising young fighter from New York City, known by the nickname “Harlem Hammer”. In November 2001, James Butler fought Richard “The Alien” Grant. The bout was a charity event to benefit survivors of the September 11 attacks. After losing by unanimous decision Butler made his way to the middle of the ring to purportedly congratulate Grant. Grant reacted by stretching his hand out in a motion to embrace. Instead, Butler (who had already removed his gloves) threw a vicious haymaker to Grant’s face. Richard Grant suffered numerous facial injuries including a broken jaw, lacerated tongue and several stitches. Butler, in turn, was arrested and convicted of assault, and served prison time for the attack.

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Re: Square Go

Post  Chris on Mon Oct 28, 2013 8:42 am

Interesting stuff Jake, thanks for the info.
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Re: Square Go

Post  DaveCollins on Mon Oct 28, 2013 1:50 pm

Ask Chris nicely to take you through the judicial intricacies of R v Brown, the legal issues involved with nailing someone's scrotum to a piece of wood and the difficulties of the law in not liking you to consent to ABH, never mind GBH....even if it really turns you on....

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Re: Square Go

Post  Jake331 on Tue Oct 29, 2013 4:06 am

DaveCollins wrote:Ask Chris nicely to take you through the judicial intricacies of R v Brown, the legal issues involved with nailing someone's scrotum to a piece of wood and the difficulties of the law in not liking you to consent to ABH, never mind GBH....even if it really turns you on....
just googled that, crazy stuff. Must remember that next time I get my scrotum nailed to the wall:-) Never realised how much the law doesn't really care about "consent" in a lot of circumstances, strange how big corporations can sell harmful shit like cigarettes but that's OK, if someone gets cancer from smoking the tobacco manufacturers are golden, whereas if an individual does some harmful shit to someone even with their full consent, they get prosecuted!

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Re: Square Go

Post  Chris on Tue Oct 29, 2013 4:25 am

DaveCollins wrote:Ask Chris nicely to take you through the judicial intricacies of R v Brown, the legal issues involved with nailing someone's scrotum to a piece of wood and the difficulties of the law in not liking you to consent to ABH, never mind GBH....even if it really turns you on....
 
ha.. I'd rather not Dave to be honest. Very Happy 
 
When I've thought about this I think from top to bottom the UK CJS has a lot of concerns about state of mind and trying to ensure that the individual is protected from damage... sometimes protected even from themselves and their own desires. For any number of reasons I agree with that view completely. There are many instances where logically consent should be an irrelevance.
 
Now, that's an easier call when you are dealing with private individuals. A takes a hammer to the bollards of B and nails them to a plank of wood then thats something that can be handled in one set of proceedings and pretty much in isolation,  without any political or long reaching fall out. The questions about big tobacco, alcohol etc etc are much more complex and to be frank the kind of money that these organisations have means that they can spend decades exhausting every and all legal arguments, pulling at threads and worrying every single microscopic piece of evidence to death.
 
Billy and John having a punch up behind the pub is an altogether easier proposition than trying to prosecute Benson and Hedges for the physical damage caused by smoking.
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